Last year, White Castle played a significant role in helping a Washington State couple finalize the adoption of a 14-year-old girl from Colombia, South America. Inspired by his supporting role in this adoption, White Castle donated $10,000 to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, the organization started by Wendy’s founder, Dave Thomas.
The two Columbus-based fast food burger chains — White Castle and Wendy’s — might be industry contenders, but both have long supported causes locally and nationally.
“We have always had great respect for the Dave Thomas Adoption Foundation and its commitment to finding forever homes for foster children,” said Jamie Richardson, Vice President of White Castle. “We are honored to demonstrate our support for this important cause with a financial contribution.”
White Castle officials came up with the idea to donate to the foundation during a recent discussion about the ironic turn of events that led to White Castle’s involvement in an adoption.
In 2019, Jana Cruz took part in White Castle’s “Winning Waffle Sweepstakes”, part of a campaign to promote the burger chain’s breakfast waffles, which are imported from Belgium. To her surprise, Jana won the grand prize: a trip for two to Belgium.
Jana and her husband, Sergio, were supposed to visit Belgium in 2020, but COVID-19 forced them to postpone the trip. When international travel resumed, White Castle worked with the couple to reschedule the trip to 2021. Unfortunately, Jana and Sergio didn’t have enough vacation time to travel to Belgium. It turned out that they had started the procedure in June 2020 to adopt a Colombian girl and planned to travel to the South American country in 2021 to finalize the adoption.
When Jana explained their situation, White Castle and her waffle supplier, Run-A-Ton, offered a solution. They offered to swap the trip to Belgium with a trip to Colombia.
Having spent tens of thousands of dollars throughout the process of adopting their daughter, the couple were grateful for the willingness of White Castle and Run-A-Ton to send them to Colombia.
“We are extremely grateful for what White Castle did to help us on our trip to Colombia to finalize our adoption,” says Jana. “We held garage sales, sold crafts, and raffled off items to help bridge the gap between what we had saved and what we needed. Charging for this trip was absolutely beyond what we could have imagined.”
Jana, Sergio and their 4-year-old son Adrian flew to Bogota in September 2021, where they picked up 14-year-old Natalia from the orphanage she was living in. After several weeks of filling out more paperwork and getting Natalia a new passport and visa, the Cruzs were able to bring their new daughter home in mid-October.
“When we learned that Jana and Sergio were in the process of adopting their daughter, the decision to swap the trip to Belgium for a trip to Colombia was an easy decision,” Richardson said. “As a family business, we really value family. This love of family is at the heart of everything we do. That’s why we were honored to be a part of Cruz’s family journey and to support an incredible organization like the Dave Thomas Foundation.
About the White Castle®
White Castle, America’s premier fast food burger chain, has been making hot, flavorful Sliders as a family business for 101 years. Based in Columbus, Ohio, White Castle began serving The Original Slider® in 1921. Today, White Castle owns and operates more than 350 restaurants dedicated to satisfying customers’ cravings morning, noon and night, and sells its famous dishes in retail stores nationwide. The Original Slider, named in 2014 as Time the magazine’s “Most Influential Burger of All Time” is served alongside a menu of creative Sliders and other mouth-watering dining options, including White Castle’s Impossible™ Cursor, named by Thrillist in 2019 as “Best Plant-Based Fast Food Burger”. White Castle’s commitment to maintaining the highest quality products extends to the company which owns and operates its own meat processing plants, bakeries and frozen food processing plants. In 2021, 100 years after the sale of the first Slider, fast business named the fast-food pioneer one of the “10 Most Innovative Restaurant Companies”. White Castle is known for the legendary loyalty of its team members, more than 1 in 4 of whom have worked for White Castle for at least 10 years, and also for its loyal fans (“Cravers”), many of whom compete each year for entry to the Cravers Hall of Fame. The official White Castle app, available at iTunes app store Where google play, makes it easy for Cravers to access great deals and place pickup orders anytime. They can also have their orders delivered by one of White Castle’s delivery partners. For more information on White Castle, visit whitecastle.com.