Thanksgiving holiday meals usher in the merry season

Two volunteers showing off a delicious Thanksgiving pie.

Two volunteers showing off a delicious Thanksgiving pie.

Every November and December, our meals program participants look forward to a delicious Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday lunch that ushers in the merry season while not skimping out on all the traditional fixings.

This year, we will host three Holiday Special Meals – the day before Thanksgiving, the day of Thanksgiving and one on Christmas Eve. But these meals would not be possible without the help we receive from our generous community partners.

A large volunteer group from Seattle City Light will help serve food and beverages to our men and women. Earlier this month Northwest Harvest donated several turkeys from Foster Farms to be used for all three meals.

“The Thanksgiving lunch service is something special,” says Brent Herrmann, director of programs at the Millionair Club Charity. “Community volunteers set the tables with tablecloths and decorations, and folks have a chance to sit down and be served turkey lunch, followed by pie.”

We also team up with Full Life Care to provide holiday meals for home-bound seniors. Volunteers from the organization arrive early at our building and dish up to-go boxes of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and dessert for older folks who may not have family they can visit.

If you want to support our program participants this holiday season, it’s not too late! We’re looking for donations of butter, celery, stuffing mix and cash to supplement what we already have. Please contact Lindsey Webb at lindseyw@millionairclub.org if you have any further questions.

Saul’s story: Philanthropy as a family tradition

Saul (right) with his famous family.

Saul (right) with his famous family.

If there’s one thing Saul Spady is familiar with, it’s burgers. But not just any sort of burgers. Saul is the grandson of the founder of Dick’s Drive-In, a cultural icon in the city of Seattle.

Saul is the President and Creative Director of Cre8ive Empowerment, a company that provides social media and digital marketing campaigns for philanthropic causes. His journey to becoming socially-minded began with the legacy his grandfather left behind.

“My grandfather’s philosophy was always, first make a profit; followed quickly with always respect your workers,” says Saul. “So, he started giving scholarships to our workers to go to college. We celebrate every person who joins our work family and is enabled to get schooling so they can move forward with their life.”

Saul’s mother continued that tradition with a small, inconspicuous addition to the restaurants that had a major impact.

“’Change for Charity’ is a little box on the counter of every Dick’s restaurant where our customer can donate their change,” Saul says. “Mom started this project 20 years ago and you’d be surprised how quickly change adds up. “

“We are able to collect $10,000 each month and give it to six charities that benefit people who are homeless in our community. I’d estimate over a quarter of a million dollars have been donated over the years,” he says.

This explains why Saul started Cre8ive Empowerment. His social media-driven malaria awareness campaign was nominated for Africa’s Best Social Media Campaign in 2015. He’s also directed campaigns here in the United States – including Mary’s Place in Seattle.

Last month, Saul teamed up with the Millionair Club Charity to combat homelessness by launching a campaign to help us upgrade our commercial kitchen, which supports our meals program.

“What gets to me about the Millionair Club Charity is that all of their services – food, showers, laundry, clothing – are geared towards finding people a job. And by giving them a job, you give them a reason to go forward,” Saul says.

Saul tells us meeting face-to-face with the individuals who come through our programs inspire him to believe that issues of homelessness and unemployment can be solved and don’t have to persist.

“Sleeping under a tree might not kill you physically, but it can do something to your mind; your self-esteem and self-worth,” he says. “That person needs someone like the great people at the Millionair Club to say you CAN solve your problems and get a job.”

Did you know?

Since 1954, Dick’s Drive-In co-founder Dick Spady has led one of the most popular food service establishments in Seattle, earning both “best burger awards” and community service recognition.  Around 13 years ago, Dick started making special deliveries of burgers and milkshakes for the Millionair Club Charity’s community lunches. Since then, they’ve donated items for auctions, sponsored events, and continue to provide hundreds of burgers every week for our hungry men and women.

Serving the most influential people in the world

An event catered by Compass Group.

An event catered by Compass Group.

When the biggest and most influential corporations in the world need food services for their employees, events and special visitors, few do it better than Compass Group.

Compass Group is an international food service management company with more than 220,000 associates across North America alone. One of them is located in Redmond on the Microsoft campus. The task of having to feed tens of thousands of employees daily means Compass Group consistently needs new help to get the job done.

So naturally when Tim O’Brien, Compass Group’s director of operations, catering and a former Millionair Club Charity board member, is looking for new workers to join his staff, he comes to us for assistance.

“We deal with many temp companies and so far the [Millionair Club Charity’s] professionalism and excellent tools are better than the more established organizations,” says Tim.

The workers who have been hired by Compass Group do kitchen prep, cooking, delivery, and event support/logistics. Tim has only kind things to say about our temp-to-hire staffing program.

“Many of our best employees have come from the Millionair Club,” he says.

When our workers first step onto the premises of the Microsoft campus, they immediately hit the ground running to feed all the people spread across 120 buildings. Compass Group feeds everyone, ranging from entry level employees to the CEO and foreign dignitaries. In fact, Tim’s team was responsible for catering the visit of Xi Jinping, the President of China who travelled to the area in late September.

Many restaurants and catering companies tell us they need more and more workers skilled in the food industry, but often struggle to fill their needs. The Millionair Club Charity’s Employment Program is working diligently to train and connect our workers to jobs that are actively hiring right now. Our partnership with Compass Group is a step in that direction.