Our Community 

Our Commitment to Giving Back

Wendy’s/Arby’s Group® believes “giving back” improves the quality of life in the many communities we call home with our company-operated and franchised restaurants.

givingbackCaring about our communities is important – and it’s the right thing to do.

That’s why we focus our resources in two key areas:

Promoting foster care adoption
Expanding youth-mentoring opportunities

With the support and commitment of our employees, franchisees, suppliers and customers, we’re actively involved in supporting our signature programs with these foundations – the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption® and Arby’s Foundation.

With the help of individual empoyees and franchisees, we continue to give back to our local communities every day through a wide range of civic and charitable activities.

Together, these efforts are making a difference in the lives of others and building stronger communities.

Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA)

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, a national nonprofit public charity, is dedicated to dramatically increasing the adoptions of the more than 130,000 children anxiously waiting in North America’s foster care systems.

Created in 1992 by Wendy’s founder, Dave Thomas – who was adopted as a child – the Foundation operates with the vision that every child deserves a permanent home and loving family.

The Foundation works to fulfill its mission by implementing result-driven national signature programs, awareness initiatives and advocacy efforts.

One signature program is Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® – an initiative that currently funds 120 experienced, full-time adoption recruiters at agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces. Since its inception in 2004, this ground-breaking effort has helped match more than 1,000 foster care children with families, and is on track to meet its goal of helping more than 10,000 children.


The Wendy’s system actively supports the DTFA and cause of foster-care adoption through three major initiatives:

Wendy’s 3-Tour Challenge in Las Vegas – a professional golf tournament, pitting three top players from the PGA, LPGA and Champions tours against each other for bragging rights. Now in its 18th year, more than $32 million have been raised for the DTFA through this event and other supporting golf tournaments organized by franchisees. Participants include Wendy’s employees, franchisees and suppliers – many of whom donate directly to the event. Click here for more information.
Father’s Day Frosty® Weekend – an annual event, where the proceeds from each Frosty sold at Wendy’s restaurants go to the DTFA (50-cents in the U.S., $1 in Canada). In 2009, more than $1.8 million was generated.
A Home for the Holidays® – a CBS television special, promoting foster care adoption, made possible through Wendy’s partnership with the DTFA and the Children’s Action Network. Marking its 11th anniversary in 2009, the television special features include real-life stories of families who have experienced the joys of adoption, combined with performances by some of the biggest names in the entertainment world. Click here for video highlights of the 2008 event.
As a result of these efforts, the DTFA has helped thousands of children in foster care find forever families.

For its significant work, the DTFA was honored by Congressional Quarterly and The Creative Coalition with the Shining Star Award at both the 2008 Democratic and Republican national conventions. Click here for more information on the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

The Arby’s Foundation

The Arby’s Foundation is grounded in the belief that every individual has the power to make a difference, one child at a time. From its inception in 1986, the Arby’s Foundation has provided more than $27 million for leadership, education and mentoring programs in the communities Arby’s serves.

mentoringWith a vision “to provide a mentor for every child who needs or wants one,” Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is Arby’s national charity of choice and a principal beneficiary of the Arby’s Foundation support. Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the nation’s largest network of volunteers providing mentoring to youth in America, serves children from single-parent homes, families living in poverty and households where a parent is incarcerated. (Click here for Big Brothers Big Sisters® of America website)

With the help of Arby’s franchisees, suppliers, employees, customers and sponsors, significant support is generated each year to assist Big Brothers Big Sisters and its local affiliates through the following initiatiives:

Arby’s Charity Tour – a series of 25 amateur golf tournaments held in communities throughout North America, incuding Atlanta, which is the headquarter city for Wendy’s/Arby’s Group and the Arby’s brand. Click here for the Arby’s Charity Tour
Restaurant Fundraising – 2,500 restaurants raising more than $2 million for local charities in 2008.
Community Events – more than 200 locally focused events that communicate the mission, vision and values of the Arby’s Foundation.
Together, these programs are helping young people achieve their dreams.

Click here for more information on the Arby’s Foundation.

Wendy’s High School Heisman

For eight generations, the Heisman name has signified excellence, determination and prestige among college football’s elite. In 1994, the next level of outstanding achievers secured their names into the Heisman lore when the Wendy’s High School Heisman (WHSH) was created.

The WHSH program has set the standard for high school student athletes. Each fall, the WHSH recognizes the nation’s most esteemed high school senior men and women for excellence in academics, athletics and community/school leadership.

To date, more than 188,000 high school students have represented their schools and have been touched by the Heisman mystique. Of them, 181 have progressed to the National Finalist level, with 30 students earning the designation of Wendy’s High School Heisman National Award Winner.

Click here for more information on Wendy’s High School Heisman.