Wendy’s, and its partner, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, is committed to helping people adopt children.
The Foundation recently partnered with Snapchat to help bring the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program to all 50 states and the District of Columbia by 2028. Wendy’s Wonderful Kids helps find homes for the more difficult-to-place children (older children, those with special needs, or siblings).
There are about 400,000 children in the U.S. foster care system. Roughly 1/4 of them– 100,000–are eligible to be adopted, according to AdoptUSKids.
Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas was adopted. He credited his summers in Maine with his grandmother for teaching him the value of hard work and perseverance. The experience of eating in local restaurants with his father after his foster mom died led to him looking at restaurants as a place to share family closeness.
The Wendy’s-Snapchat partnership launched the “Cause Cup” initiative in May to raise up to $500,000 towards the national initiative:
The program uses evidenced-based, child-focused methods to place children with the right adoptive parents.
In an interview with Columbus Monthly, Wendy’s CEO Rita Soronen says the program works because of the personal one-on-one, full-time, expert case workers who really know the child they’re seeking to find a permanent home. “At the core is knowing that child,” she said.
Caseworkers in most programs struggle to manage multiple foster care and adoption cases, and most lack the time and resources to devote to just one child at a time. “When you give a caseworker time to really work a case, you will find an adoptive family for these children,” she said.
Thomas visited the White House several times to raise awareness about adoption, including advocating for adoption-related federal employee benefits. In 1992, he became a spokesman for a national adoption awareness campaign.