Like millions of Americans before him, New York carpenter Gerry Crimmins spent a recent vacation in the Big Easy. But rather than sightseeing in the French Quarter or taking trolley rides through the Garden District, Crimmins went to work, rebuilding destroyed firehouses. Today, that dedication to serving his community and building capacity for emergency response earned Crimmins a year’s worth of free coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts.

Crimmins is the first person honored as part of “Serving Heroes” a new program from the Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation to recognize the people who serve our communities in times of crisis.

The campaign, launched today, will encourage the public to call attention to people who serve their communities in times of crisis. Individuals featured on the program web site,, will receive a year’s worth of free Dunkin’ Donuts coffee or Baskin-Robbins ice cream. The first 5,000 people who contribute a story online will also receive a coupon for a free product, redeemable at Dunkin’ Donuts or Baskin-Robbins.

“Virtually every one of us has been touched by the work of emergency responders,” said Stephan Shelton, chairman of the Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation. “Through this program, we want the public to thank the people who support our communities and demonstrate that if we support our emergency responders before an emergency, they can better serve the community when a need arises.”

The Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation will identify a new hero each month. The Foundation will select the heroes based on the strength of the person’s story and the ability of the person’s story to inspire and encourage others to get involved.

In addition to the stories, the web site will provide ideas on how people can get involved with emergency response organizations, including links to volunteer opportunities and facts about the challenges our emergency response organizations face as they try to serve and protect their communities.

“We hope that by giving people a vehicle to share their personal experiences, others will consider emergency responders when choosing an organization to volunteer with,” Shelton said. “Plus, we hope to show just how many people serve our communities in times of crisis. From the frontline responders to the people who rebuild communities after the limelight fades, we owe them all a debt of gratitude.”

Charitable Giving, News, Dunkin' Donuts