April 18, 2016
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It's always nice when a business or community organization gets involved in our community by supporting non-profit organizations.
As a non-profit organization that must raise $852,173 locally this year in order to draw down funds from our federal Early Head Start grant, we certainly appreciate and depend upon community involvement for our very existence. Without this involvement, the several hundred families we serve each year in three counties would not receive quality early education & care services for their infants and toddlers. And without affordable child care, the grown-ups would not be able work and/or continue their education.
So when Chuy's restaurant decided to locate in Tallahassee, one of the first things they did was to identify a children's charity with whom to partner. This Tex-Mex restaurant, with headquarters in Texas, made our day when they notified us they wanted to partner with Kids Incorporated! We've met the dynamic manager of the restaurant and other members of the Chuy's team when they hosted a get-together at their location (904 E. Lafayette Street - with an open date of May 10) and were delighted with the samplings of some of the items Chuy's is known for. (The food was awesome and the margarita's as fresh and tasty as we've every sampled!). So our friends and staff who attended the sampling came away eager and ready for the restaurant to open.
Besides the tasty items and the friendly staff, what stands out to those of us who attended is their commitment to the communities where they do business. We have come to know that Chuy's is committed to being good corporate citizens who are engaged in our community. They are donating $1 to Kids Incorporated for every Facebook "Like" Chuy's Tallahassee receives between April 18 and 20th. They are also participating in our 15th Annual Kidsfest on Saturday, April 30 at the N. Florida Fairgrounds. They'll be providing hands-on children's activities and serving up some free Chuy's samples. And they are bringing many of their newly hired staff to help with their activities and to help Kids Incorporated host this event.
The fact that less than two weeks before they open their doors, they are willing to have their staff help at a community event for a local charity speaks volumes about Chuy's commitment to community engagement. Even if we weren't partnering with them (and we are delighted to be part of their new "team"), we would want to support a business that gives back to their community.
So today, we publically thank Chuy's for being good corporate citizens as they settle into Tallahassee. Please like their Chuy's Tallahassee Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ChuysTallahassee/, not only to help Kids Incorporated (yes, we get a $1 for every new like through Wed. April 20!) but to send the message that our community supports businesses who support community organizations. The good news is that in the greater Tallahassee area, there are many businesses that contribute to not-for-profit organizations - financially and through volunteer time. It's part of what makes Tallahassee and our surrounding communities a great place to live, work and volunteer!
UPDATE (June 15, 2016)
This morning, Bobby Newell, General Manager and local owner/operator of Chuy's Tallahassee, presented Kids Incorporated's Executive Director, Pamela Davis, a check in the amount of $11,585.35. This generous donation was a result of the charitable partnership Chuy's Tallahassee chose to have with Kids Incorporated and is a result of ongoing civic support, fundraising and sponsorship through various pre-opening events at the new restaurant, in the community and online. These funds will be used to help Kids Incorporated in its goal of raising local matching funds. Our Early Head Start (EHS) grant requires we raise $4 for every $1 we receive in federal EHS dollars. For Fiscal Year 16-17, we must raise $866,673 dollars in local match. Chuy's contribution is a great start (our fiscal year began June 1st!). We continue to be appreciative and very grateful for our partnership.