While many companies have pledged their support to the abortion industry giant Planned Parenthood, fast-food chain Wendy’s and its partner, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, have made it clear that they would rather choose life by promoting adoption.
Through the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program, the Foundation provides funding to adoption agencies to hire recruiters who implement a “child-focused recruitment model.” This model focuses on assigning recruiters smaller caseloads of children in order to ensure that each child receives as much attention as he or she deserves.
A five-year study by Child Trends, one of the nation’s leading research centers for child development, revealed that the model has proven to be up to three times more effective at serving children who have been in foster care the longest—including teenagers, sibling groups and children with special needs.
The late Dave Thomas, Wendy’s founder and an adoptee himself, made several trips to the White House to raise awareness about adoption and to advocate for adoption benefits for federal employees. In fact, in 1990, President George H.W. Bush asked Thomas to head a national adoption awareness campaign called “Adoption Works … For Everyone.” A couple of years later, Thomas established the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to provide grants to national and regional adoption organizations for programs that raise awareness and make adoption easier and more affordable.
“Every child deserves a permanent home and loving family,” he said. “Having a family means there are people who care about you and who will always be there for you. Adoption is a great way to create or add to a family. There are so many children in America waiting to be adopted.”
In 2014, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, commended the fast-food franchise, saying on his radio show: “While other companies are chasing a political agenda, Wendy’s is focusing on the most important ingredient of all: loving families.”
This past May, Wendy’s kicked off a new initiative called “Cause Cups,” which features a Snapchat code on the outside of each cup. Consumers are encouraged to simply scan the code to donate $5 to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The hope is that through the donations, the Wendy’s Wonderful Kid’s program will be able to expand to all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Wendy’s Wonderful Kids and the Foundation have tested their methods in Ohio, and have reported good results by focusing their resources on understanding the children and treating them as individuals. Case workers are given resources and empowered to spend significant time on children so they can be understood and placed in homes where they can thrive.
“For the past four to five years now, we have scaled Wendy’s Wonderful Kids across Ohio,” said Rita Soronen, Wendy’s CEO. “We’ve seen more than 330 adoptions finalized across the state. We know that it’s about $3 million a year to keep this program scaled in Ohio. Since we’ve had the program in Ohio, we’ve saved the state $64 million.”
“We’re saving children’s lives, and we’re saving critical resources at the state and county level. It’s that one-two punch that makes sense for states,” she added.