Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill has completed a two-month campaign to raise $10,000 for No Kid Hungry, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit that connects low-income children with programs that provide meals and nutrition resources.
The Westlake Village restaurant franchisor, which has 25 locations in Southern California and Nevada, donated $1 from the sale of each “wild Alaska” menu item purchased between Feb. 16 and April 13. Sharky’s was introduced to No Kid Hungry by Chief Marketing Officer Steven Goldstein, who alone raised $25,000 in donations for the nonprofit last May in conjunction with Chef Cycle, a charity cycling event for the restaurant industry.
“My experience led me to what I saw as an opportunity for our organization to do some food-related giving,” said Goldstein, who joined Sharky’s in September.
No Kid Hungry conducts campaigns in Los Angeles throughout the year, including a breakfast program that provided food for 350,000 public school students in 2015, according to the nonprofit’s website.
Separately, Sharky’s also benefitted No Kid Hungry in early May with donations collected during its “mock service” event for its Summerlin, Nev. restaurant, its first outpost outside of California. No Kid Hungry also will receive proceeds from the launch of a Sharky’s restaurant in Marina del Rey, slated to open later this summer. The restaurant is matching donations from each event up to $2,500, Goldstein said.
‘Refashion the Future’
Westfield Topanga and the Village is among eight Westfield locations that have partnered with for-profit sustainable fashion recycling company I:Collect to give new life to shoppers’ old clothing.
The program, called I:Co, encourages shoppers to drop off used clothing at a Westfield location in exchange for discounts from participating retailers. At Westfield Topanga, those include not only national retailers such as H&M but also small brands like Cotton On and Divine, said Westfield Topanga Senior Manager Molly Unger. More retailers have signed on with the program since its April 22 launch, and the list is expected to grow, she added.
“It’s the big guys and the little guys all doing their part,” Unger said. “The partnership between Westfield and I:Co has natural synergy – and it solves the quandary of what to do with clothes when you’re done wearing them.”
While other programs limit donations to gently-worn pieces that can be resold as used clothing, I:Co takes items in any condition and sorts them into more than 350 categories. Unwearable items may be “down-cycled” into wipe cloths, or turned into insulation for buildings and cars.
“The goal is to close the loop or create a circular economy,” Jennifer Gilbert, chief marketing officer at I:Co USA, explained. “This is not just a one-day promotion – consumers need to change their habits in terms of textiles, and Westfield is helping them do that.”
I:Co purchases the donated clothing from Westfield, which then turns all proceeds over to Glam4Good Foundation. The New York nonprofit conducts fashion and beauty initiatives in partnership with domestic abuse shelters, women’s charities and other organizations.
“When you really look at Glam4Good their focus is strengthening and empowering girls and women, the No. 1 customer that is taking part in this program,” Westfield’s Unger said.
JetSuiteX’s Angel Flight
Individuals with serious medical conditions will be able to jet out of Hollywood Burbank Airport in Burbank free-of-charge, thanks to a donation to Angel Flight West from public charter service JetSuiteX.
The Santa Monica health care aviation nonprofit announced at its annual Endeavor Awards gala on May 6 that it had received $25,000 in seats on JetSuiteX flights, which will cover transportation for 100 patients between airports in Burbank, San Francisco and Las
Vegas. JetSuiteX also donated a $2,500 Napa Valley travel package to the Endeavor Awards silent auction.
JetSuiteX Chief Executive Alex Wilcox said his company was inspired to promote the work of Angel Flight after hearing feedback from JetSuiteX customers who said that its charter service had enabled their elderly parents to travel again.
“When we started JetSuiteX we wanted to take the hassle out of air travel, and some of the unexpected feedback was that we had basically made untenable travel possible,” Wilcox said. “We wanted to do what we did for elderly individuals for others who faced similar situations.”
JetSuiteX was researching potential benefactors for a donation to commemorate its first year in business when it received a call from Josh Olsen, executive director of Angel Flight. The nonprofit’s mission – to provide free, non-emergency air travel for children and adults in need of medical care – was a natural fit with JetSuiteX’s product, Wilcox said.
“We liked Angel Flight’s product,” he said. “(They share) our real focus, so we wanted to focus specifically on them.”
Staff Reporter Helen Floersh can be reached at (818) 312-3121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.