Viewing entries in
Giving Back

Comment

The 12 Days of Ruthie's Snacks of Kindness: Part 2

The seventh organization chosen by the Ruthie’s crew, is not a non-profit but an institution that wholly impacts the Dallas community. The Dallas Police Department (DPD) is dedicated to serving the people of Dallas and strives to reduce crime and provide a safe city. Helping people at every opportunity by offering preventive, investigative, and enforcement services is the DPD’s goal. By respecting and protecting the rights of citizens as determined by the law, being an example of honesty and integrity, and performing their duties with the knowledge that protection of the lives and property of all citizens is their primary responsibility, the men and women of the DPD accomplish this mission. The Police Department realizes that they alone cannot control crime and must act in harmony with the community and the rest of the Criminal Justice System. The importance of involving the community to help combat crime and increase the quality of police service is acknowledged by the DPD through the Community Engagement Unit (CEU). The CEU assists citizens with developing crime watch groups and other programs that assist the community including iWatch Dallas, Amber Alert, and youth programs. A couple employees of Ruthie’s delivered some tasty gourmet grilled cheese for the officers of the Jack Evans Headquarters for their dedication to the citizens of Dallas. Visit the Dallas Police website for more information.

Vogel Alcove was selected by Ruthie’s team member, Amber, for the 12 Days of Ruthie’s Snacks of Kindness (RSK). Their mission is to help young children overcome the lasting and traumatic effects of homelessness. The vision of the non-profit is that every child in the Dallas community has a home, a self-sufficient family, and a foundation for success in school and life. As of 2016, 30% of Dallas children are growing up in poverty, the number one reason for family homelessness. Children suffering from homelessness are four times more likely than their peers to display delayed development and 33% of homeless children over the age of 8 will have a mental disorder. The organization intervenes with children at this crucial time in brain development and provides trauma-informed care that helps to counteract the effects of homelessness. Through therapeutic early childhood programming and school-age services, mental health integration, health services, and the family support program, Vogel Alcove has tailored their approach to meet the needs of homeless children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old. By providing a place free from hunger and trauma, where children are allowed to learn, grow, and thrive, the non-profit gives homeless families a chance to overcome their circumstances. Ruthie’s served lunch to compassionate staff as a thank you for their dedication to the children of Dallas experiencing homelessness. Greg Brinkley, Chief Development Officer for Vogel Alcove, conveyed how grateful the staff was for the comforting lunch. “Our teachers and case workers have very, very difficult jobs. The children we serve are in trauma, and it takes special people to help them heal and grow. In addition, our teachers absorb the pain our children and families experience. The fact that you chose to support our staff made them feel special. We need more people like you and companies like Ruthie’s to support our team! Plus, the sandwiches were awesome!” In order to continue offering services for homeless children and their families at no cost, the organization relies on the support of the community. To learn more about donating or volunteering for Vogel Alcove, visit their website for more information.

We need more people like you and companies like Ruthie’s to support our team! Plus, the sandwiches were awesome!
— Greg Brinkley, Chief Development Officer for Vogel Alcove

One of our community partners, Café Momentum, was chosen by the Ruthie’s crew as the ninth non-profit of the 12 Days of RSK’s. The Dallas-based restaurant and culinary training facility transforms young lives by equipping our community’s most at-risk youth with life skills, education and employment opportunities to help them achieve their full potential. By providing a positive environment in which youth who have spent time in juvenile facilities receive intensive culinary, job, and life-skill training, as well as continuous mentorship and support, the organization empowers the at-risk youths to transform their lives and achieve their full potential. Participators of the pre-release program alternate through every aspect of the restaurant from waiting tables to washing dishes, while working side-by-side with reputable chefs. Café Momentum collaborates with the Dallas County Juvenile Justice Department to teach young adolescent men and women that it is possible to break the cycle of violence and crime that many of them have endured. To ensure a more successful future for their interns the organization concentrates on creating environments where they can attain self-confidence and learn marketable skills. The 12-month paid post-release internship program begins with a 13-week orientation at which time interns are connected with case managers to address basic crucial needs, build a baseline of stability in their lives and set personal goals. Working their way through all areas of the restaurant, the interns learn about legal employment, social and life skills. Case managers provide financial literacy training, parenting classes, educational assistance, and career exploration as well as help working through issues such as anger management, trauma recovery, fatherlessness, and abandonment. Successful interns are placed in a job with one of the non-profit’s community partners after graduation and become contributing members of society. Ruthie’s served gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches to the interns and amiable staff of Café Momentum before their Thursday night dinner service. Toiletries that were collected at the Ruthie’s food trucks during public events were delivered to the interns of non-profit. The restaurant is opened for dinner Thursday through Sunday for reservations and walk-in guests. The Sunday Supper Concert Series is an intimate acoustic evening with a new artist every week and family-style dinner and drinks. Visit the Café Momentum website or restaurant to eat, drink and change lives.

The tenth non-profit, Equest, was nominated by Ruthie’s employee, Kelly. Enhancing the quality of life for children and adults with diverse needs by partnering them with horses to bring hope and healing through equine assisted activities and therapies is the mission of the organization. The non-profit offers a variety of programs tailored to each individual client including Therapeutic Horsemanship where instructors teach equestrian skills to participants with a variety of special needs. Participants experience a freedom of motion and ability they don’t or can’t enjoy in other aspects of their lives. Therapeutic Carriage Driving provides the same experience for those with special needs who cannot or do not wish to be mounted on a horse. Physical, occupational, and speech therapy is available to clients while mounted on the horse through the Hippotherapy program. The equine-assisted therapy may also positively affect psychological, cognitive, behavioral, and communication outcomes. Equine Facilitated Counseling at Equest addresses metal health issues for clients with a team of licensed professionals and the horse. The Hooves for Heroes program is offered to military veterans and family members at no cost and empowers participants to take charge of their civilian transitions and assume new roles as civic leaders. Benefits that veterans receive from the therapeutic horsemanship include improved self-awareness and self-confidence, healthier relationships, enhanced emotional regulation, and opportunities to serve the community. The non-profit also hosts the Dallas Police Department and their Police Activities League (PAL) program through a comprehensive horsemanship program that moves children from their first introduction to horses to advanced riding skills. Individuals wanting to gain firsthand experience through sensory immersion can participate in the Equine Assisted Learning program or the Mini Ambassador Program to learn about the unique healing bond between humans and horses. Ruthie’s delivered grilled cheese sandwiches to the empathetic staff of the organization as a thank you for their dedication to improving the quality of life for children and adults with diverse needs. Equest offers over 30,000 volunteer hours each year for individuals and groups with no prior horse experience needed. The organization will teach you everything you need to know and offer an opportunity to partake in riding lessons. Visit the Equest website for more information about volunteering, donating, and upcoming events supporting the non-profit’s mission.

The Veterans Resource Center was selected by the Ruthie’s crew in honor of the homeless veterans of Dallas. The center is managed by Homeless Veterans Services of Dallas, Inc. (HVSD), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of homeless or at-risk veterans and their families. By providing the first point of contact for veterans needing to connect with non-profits, employment and educational opportunities, and resources offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs the organization offers a path towards self-sufficiency. Alleviating the problem of homelessness among veterans and their families by assisting with transitional and permanent housing if the main goal of the Veterans Resource Center. Since opening the center’s doors, over 45,000 veterans have received assistance from the organization. The Ruthie’s crew served 150 grilled cheese sandwiches in addition to chips and drinks to the courageous veterans receiving aid from the center. During the lunch service, the generous non-profit organizations Operation Once in a Lifetime and Boot Campaign delivered blankets and boots to the veterans as well. Operation Once in a Lifetime’s mission is to make the dreams of U.S. Soldiers and their families come true by providing free financial and morale support to all U.S. Service members, their families, and veterans regardless of rank, deployment, physical condition, branch, or service. Boot Campaign is dedicated to providing life-improving programs to help veterans and military families nationwide and helping to bridge the military-civilian divide. The veterans received new boots and blankets along with a warm and comforting grilled cheese sandwich in recognition of their sacrifices and for their dedication to our country. For more information about the Veterans Resource Center and how to support their mission, visit their website.

Paws in the City.jpg

All of the employees of Ruthie’s loves animals so the last non-profit nominated for the 12 Days of RSK’s was Paws in the City. The animal rescue group is committed to ending the overpopulation, abuse, and neglect of Dallas area dogs and cats by finding every adoptable dog and cat a loving home. As an all-volunteer non-profit organization, Paws in the City shares resources with like-minded groups, assists in emergencies, and work harder to find homes for hard-to-place pets. By taking dogs and cats that are overlooked due to illnesses, old age or breed, the charitable non-profit is reducing the euthanizing of animals at local city shelters. A training program to help solve behavior issues and rehabilitate dogs with issues due to human neglect and abuse is offered to all of the adoptable dogs that Paws in the City home, giving them a second chance. Through community outreach and financial support of vaccine and sterilization clinics, the program Fixin’ to Save helps diminish the numbers of unwanted litters in Dallas. Pet owners may attend to have their animals vaccinated or sterilized for free at the various clinic that organization support. The Guest Dog/Cat Program helps citizens who have found a stray or need to re-home an animal by posting the pet on social media, inviting them to attend adoption events, and connecting them with a discounted vet. As a thank you to the magnanimous volunteers of Paws in the City, Ruthie’s delivered some delicious grilled cheese sandwiches to the Pawliday Pawty, one of their exciting and unique fundraisers. Being one of the largest and most respected animal rescue groups in North Texas, the organization depends on their volunteers and the donations from the community. To learn more about the non-profit and how to get involved, visit their website.

The organizations selected for the 12 Days of RSK’s are just a few of the organizations that are creating a positive change in our community. All of the affectionate, generous, and supportive volunteers and team members of the organizations have dedicated more than just their time to making Dallas and the surrounding neighborhoods a better place. Serving grilled cheese was just a simple thank you that has hopefully warmed and brought comfort to every recipient of the Snacks of Kindness. A total of 535 sandwiches were served in December to impact our community in the cheesiest way. Ruthie’s was honored to be able to recognize and acknowledge the dozen non-profits and organizations represented in the 12 Days of RSK’s.

Comment

Comment

Parkland’s Victim Intervention Program (VIP)/Rape Crisis Center

The Victim Intervention Program (VIP)/Rape Crisis Center at Parkland strives to prevent violence towards women, men and children. They promote safety and recovery for victims of abuse and/or violence. VIP helps women, men, teens and children over the age of four that have experienced abuse and violence. They assist and support victims of sexual assault, family violence, intimate partner violence, human trafficking and other types of violent crimes. They provide crisis support, advocacy and counseling to patients at Parkland Hospital as well as residents of Dallas County. Their services include a 24-Hour crisis hotline and hospital response to victims of abuse and violence who are cared for at Parkland by their experienced advocates and counselors. Through training and workshops, the staff of VIP are educating the community on how to recognize and address those affected by violence and abuse. Their website provides more information on how to identify the different types of abuse and how recovery is possible.

VIP originally contacted Ruthie’s to book us for a an employee appreciation event at their offices. Once we found out about their remarkable work for the community, we knew they would be a perfect Ruthie’s Snacks of Kindness (RSK) recipient. Lyndsay Sather, the Interim Director for VIP, started as an intern and has been with the nonprofit for 5 years. What has kept her with the organization is “watching individuals find their own voice and meaning of hope.” She says, “It is a beautiful thing to walk alongside individuals recovering from trauma and help them see their strength from the journey.” The VIP program is unique in how they may be the first emotional support a sexual assault victim receives after checking in to Parkland. The importance of the organization to the community is their “multi-pronged approach in serving trauma survivors. Each component plays a critical role which directly impacts the others’ and collectively works towards creating an emotionally healthier community.”

As our RSK recipient, VIP was highlighted on our food trucks for the month of August to inform and educate our customers of the compassionate nonprofit’s work. Ruthie’s also collected toiletries and small gifts for victims of sexual assault to donate the day of our RSK event. Through comfort food, made with love, we strive to show how important this nonprofit is to our community. We arrived to the VIP office to serve our gourmet grilled cheese to their kindhearted advocates on August 30th. The atmosphere of the center was exceptionally calm, creating a perfect safe place. The small staff, of about thirty people, were genuinely enthusiastic about Ruthie’s coming out to brighten their day with some cheesy encouragement. Lyndsay mentions that “Ruthie’s acknowledgement to the work we do in addition (to) their kind gesture brought tears to our eyes. It was such an impactful reminder that our hard work and dedication does not go unseen, and we too deserve to be ‘taken care of’ at times.”

Ruthie’s was truly privileged to serve the incredibly sympathetic and supportive employees of the VIP/Rape Crisis Center. We are humbled by their devotion to victims of such horrific crimes. Visit their website for more information about their services and how to get involved.

Victim Intervention Program (VIP)/Rape Crisis Center at Parkland

Comment