Recently, all twelve Spread Bagelry locations in the greater Philadelphia region came together in support of ongoing programming and research for the autism community by donating $19,000 to the Eagles Autism Foundation, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting families in the area and across the globe.
“We focussed on the Eagles Autism Foundation because we believe that giving back moves everyone forward’, says Jamie Schrotberger, chief executive officer of Spread Bagelry. “The happy accident that occurred during our nine-month fundraising period was that our team members came together in solidarity behind a common cause – which bolstered compassion, acceptance and overall morale. By amplifying the foundation’s mission, we encouraged our team members and customers to move from awareness to action.”
Spread Bagelry sent a team of 20 participants to the Eagles Autism Challenge which took place in May at Lincoln Financial Field. Team Spread Love wore tie-dye t-shirts which they had also sold to the public as a fundraising initiative over the course of their campaign.
“The t-shirts are really special,” says Jami Slotnick, brand/marketing manager for Spread Bagelry. “We collaborated with well-known street artist Amberella in designing the shirt, which boldly exclaims ‘Spread Love’ on the front side. The catchphrase ‘Spread Love’ is interpretive, it can mean many different things depending on one’s own way of seeing the world around them, its simplistic, yet magical in reminding us all to lean into compassion.”
In addition to encouraging customers to round up at the register and via online ordering, Spread also raised funds through raffles, generous contributions from the public and the corporate community (partner companies of Spread). Spread’s own team members also raised money on an individual basis through donations and sponsorships surrounding their participation in the Eagle's Autism Challenge 5k Walk/Run.
“The idea of togetherness has always been an undercurrent flowing through the culture of our growing organization,” says Brooks Tanner, chief operating officer of Spread Bagelry. “It just feels good to serve communities that need extra support. I’ve always said that we’re not in the bagel business, but rather the people business. It feels amazing to give back in a big way.”