BusinessWire: Ben & Jerry’s Franchisees Walk the Social Mission Talk

January 14th, 2011

BusinessWire
http://www.benjerry.com

January 14, 2011 09:16 PM Eastern Time
Ben & Jerry’s Franchisees Walk the Social Mission Talk

Scoop Shop Owners & Managers Bring the Company’s Social Mission to Life at St. Jude’s Ranch during Annual Franchisee Meeting

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BOULDER CITY, Nev.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The reality is that everyday in our country children are abandoned, abused or neglected, but at St. Jude’s Ranch in Boulder City, Nevada these same kids are cared for everyday. St. Jude’s provides a place where the children – that the St. Jude’s staff has taken in as their own – “know that they are loved.” Ben & Jerry’s franchise community came together to take action supporting St. Jude’s with a little sweat equity, a little ice cream, and a lot of love.

“The St. Jude’s residents didn’t have a lot of things, so you can see how adding nice furnishings would help make a huge, noticeable difference”

Social action is one of the main reasons these ice cream franchisees decided to get into the business of representing Ben & Jerry’s in their communities. These franchisees are the heart and soul of Ben & Jerry’s across the country and across the globe as they support the same type of social action in the communities where they live.

Today, the franchisees focused on Boulder City, Nevada just a short drive from where the more than 400 Ben & Jerry’s franchisees, managers, staff, friends, and family members gathered together for their annual meeting. The selected non-profit community partner, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children (www.stjudesranch.org) , serves neglected children and families. The Ranch has provided home and healing to more than 1,000 children since its start in 1967.

The volunteers, enthusiastic and ready for action, split themselves into teams to work throughout the 10 homes at the Ranch. The mission for the day: help furnish the children’s rooms with dressers, desks, nightstands, and curtains so that the children could feel more at home. Some volunteers also helped process the large volume of donated greeting cards that St. Jude’s receives for its recycled card program, which teaches entrepreneurial skills to its residents.

Ben & Jerry’s staff arrived at the site at 10 a.m. on Friday ready to roll up their sleeves and make a difference. They spent the day at The Ranch building furniture, cleaning, taking down Christmas decorations, sorting Christmas cards, and anything else that needed to be done.

“It was great to work with other franchisees from around the country like Philly and Boston, and it was great to see the kids’ faces,” said Franchise Advisory Council Chair, Rhett Russell from Seattle. “The St. Jude’s residents didn’t have a lot of things, so you can see how adding nice furnishings would help make a huge, noticeable difference,” Russell added.

It was hard to tell what the residents and staff enjoyed the most — the free scoops of Phishfood ice cream, or the time with Ben & Jerry’s beloved cofounders, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, who toured the site reviewing the day’s accomplishments on Friday.

As the day came to a close, Ben and Jerry spoke to the crowd, toasted their hosts and thanked St. Jude’s Ranch for their efforts. St Jude’s CEO Christine Spadafor shared stories and sentiments about their experiences.

After smiles, hugs, and words of mutual appreciation were exchanged, the Ben & Jerry’s group boarded buses and headed back to the Global Franchise Community Gathering. Chatter of the events that unfolded during the day filled the buses back to Summerlin. It was all business as usual for the socially responsible shop owners who again had the chance to practice their mantra: “peace, love and ice cream.”

About Ben & Jerry’s

Ben & Jerry’s produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream and ice cream novelties, using high-quality ingredients including milk and cream from family farmers who do not treat their cows with the synthetic hormone rBGH. The company states its position on rBGH* on its labels. Ben and Jerry’s products are distributed nationwide and in selected foreign countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchise Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops, restaurants and other venues. Ben & Jerry’s, a Vermont corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part Mission Statement emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community. Contributions made via the employee led Ben & Jerry’s Foundation in 2009 totaled over $1.7 million. Additionally, the company makes significant product donations to community groups and nonprofits both in Vermont and across the nation. The purpose of Ben & Jerry’s philanthropy is to support the founding values of the company: economic and social justice, environmental restoration and peace through understanding, and to support our Vermont communities. For the full scoop on all Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop locations and fabulous flavors, visit www.benjerry.com.