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Foster Care Adoption

Every year, more than 20,000 young people leave foster care without a permanent family. Since 1992, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption has made it its mission to find forever families for children in foster care and fulfill Dave Thomas’ vision that every child has a permanent and loving home. 

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Wendy’s directly helped raise more than $15.5 million for this worthwhile cause in 2020, bringing the total since its inception to more than $235 million. Highlights from this year include: 

  • In 2020, we adjusted several of our traditional fundraising events, like our annual franchise and supplier convention and The Dave golf tournament. Instead, we hosted a virtual Wendy’s Family Night fundraiser where nearly 500 members of the Wendy’s family raised a record-breaking $2.7 million for the Foundation.
  • Available in the fall, Boo! Books cost one dollar for five free Jr. Frosty® coupons; 85 cents of each purchase is donated to the Foundation. This year, we raised more than $4 million in support of the Foundation. 

  • Wendy's annual Frosty® 5K Run for Adoption also went virtual and welcomed more than 1,600 participants from around the world—including Canada, Guatemala and Egypt. Together, we raised more than $80,000 to support children in foster care. 

  • Frosty Key Tags are available for purchase from November through January and consumers can use them all year to get a free Jr. Frosty with any purchase. Eighty-five percent of every $2 tag sold benefits the Foundation. In 2020, we introduced a digital Frosty Key Tag in the Wendy’s app which can be applied to mobile orders or used for in-restaurant scanning. This year, we raised more than $7 million through the key tag program. 

  • During National Adoption Awareness Month (November), we welcomed back a fan-favorite promotion with our generous partners at Dr Pepper®   and Coca-Cola®. Wendy’s customers could visit our mobile app to redeem an offer for a free beverage of any size with purchase. With each offer redemption, Dr Pepper and Coca-Cola donated $5 to the Foundation, for a total of $500,000 raised. 

10,000th Adoption Message
A Milestone

In 2020, the Foundation announced that its signature program, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids®, has helped find adoptive homes for more than 10,000 children in foster care across the United States and Canada. Ten thousand children now have a forever family to love and support them and be there every step of the way as they grow into adults with families of their own. This milestone is especially important as COVID-19 had a major impact on the Foundation and the needs of children in foster care have become even more critical. When many other systems came to a halt, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters pushed for youth to move into pre-adoptive homes, nudged decision makers to think creatively and encouraged local judges to facilitate virtual adoption hearings.

"The beauty of 10,000 adoptions is more than a large number, more than a significant goal attained. It's an achievement that represents a seismic shift in changing a child welfare system that too often disregards the rights and needs of children; that allows thousands to age out of foster care into homelessness or despair; that perpetuates the myth that some children are too old to be adopted, or too difficult to care for."

- Rita Soronen

President and CEO, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

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