CKE Restaurants Holdings, parent company to Carl’s Jr.and Hardee’s restaurant chains kicks off its third-annual Stars for Heroes fundraising campaign this week at participating restaurant locations.

The program harnesses the national reach of both brands and the generosity of its customers, franchisees, and company employees to rally behind the nation’s military veterans and families.

Funds raised during this year’s campaign will assist those groups through national charity partnerships with American Red Cross, Dream Foundation, and USA Cares, as well as through regional charities with existing ties to individual Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurant communities.

The Stars for Heroes fundraising campaign will run for three weeks.

To participate, restaurant guests donate $1 in support of military charities. For each $1 donation, guests receive a commemorative “I am supporting military veterans and families” patriotic star-shaped cutout to personalize and place on display in the restaurant.

They also receive restaurant coupons valued at more than $10 to use toward future purchases. Customers can also donate to the campaign online via the Stars for Heroes Facebook page.

“Supporting our nation’s military is a cause important to our customers, employees, and franchisees; it’s also a personal passion of mine,” says Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants. “We’ve done some amazing things these past two years, in regard to both monetary fundraising and supporting the missions of our military charity partners on the ground.

“It’s all thanks to the incredible support and generosity of our franchise community—The Independent Hardee’s Franchise Association (IHFA) and Star Franchise Association (SFA)—along with our company employees and loyal customers,” he adds. “I’m confident 2013 will be another successful year and am excited to see patriotic stars once again cover our restaurant walls. Stars for Heroes is our small way to show our appreciation and give back to those heroes who have given so much for us.”

Since its creation in 2011, the Stars for Heroes has raised close to $2 million to support more than 40 military charities across the country.

Previous national beneficiaries include Homes for Our Troops, The Mission Continues, and USA Cares.

“CKE Restaurants, Inc. has been a faithful partner to our Red Cross chapters for years, and we’re excited to expand the relationship with a national focus on military services,” says Sherri Brown, senior vice president of Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces.

“The Service to the Armed Forces program provides assistance to service members, veterans, and their families during times of need, ranging from emergency communication services to reintegration support and financial assistance,” she continues. “The Stars for Heroes partnership helps us highlight these important offerings, and the funds raised will have a powerful impact for our military members in their times of need.”

Thomas Rollerson, founder and president of Dream Foundation, says, “CKE Restaurants, Inc. and its franchisees are a longtime Partner In Dreams, helping us fulfill the final wishes of veterans and their families suffering life-threatening illness.

“The financial support pledged for 2013 will help us fund the entire veteran segment of our dream service demographic,” he adds. “Additionally, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s representatives continuously open their local restaurants and serve as ‘dream hosts,’ supplementing our dreamers’ wishes and enhancing the experience for all involved. It’s touching to see the Stars for Heroes program truly impact the lives of those we serve.”

Peter Giusti, president of USA Cares, adds, “We are so excited to partner with CKE Restaurants and the Stars for Heroes program again for a third year. As an organization that relies solely on donations for funding, the Stars for Heroes campaign not only provides us with the means to continue our services to active duty soldiers, veterans, Guard and Reserve members, and their families, but also to raise public awareness of the need for the assistance programs that USA Cares provides across the country.”

The Stars for Heroes campaign is made successful through generous contributions by CKE employees, franchisees, customers, and guests, as well as private donations from organizations like Archway, a CKE partner that has donated in-restaurant print materials throughout the course of the Stars for Heroes fundraising campaign. 

Charitable Giving, Marketing & Promotions, News, Carl's Jr., Hardee's