Wienerschnitzel contributed $20,000 to the second annual Hot Dogs for Homeless Tour for a grand total of nearly $70,000 in donations. All funds generated benefit tour partner, Skate For Change, a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging youth to give back to the lesser fortunate in their communities through skateboarding. Additionally, this year’s tour focused heavily on strengthening bonds with local Skate For Change chapters and increasing membership, which resulted in the addition of eight new chapters and nearly 60 new members.
For 30 days straight, a Wienerschnitzel-wrapped RV, lovingly declared the “Wienerbago,” and the Hot Dogs for Homeless crew traveled 4,100 miles across 18 cities throughout the Southwest and handed out more than 35,000 Wienerschnitzel hot dogs. The crew visited shelters and areas with heavy homeless populations, where they handed out nearly 7,500 pair of socks and provided hot meals, hygiene kits, and other necessities to those who needed it most.
“This year, along with feeding as many homeless as possible, our goal was to inspire students to get involved and keep things going in their communities in order to make a lasting, positive impact even after we’re gone,” says J.R. Galardi, director of administration for Galardi Group, parent company of Wienerschnitzel. “The enthusiasm and selflessness we saw from the young volunteers was humbling and I’m proud to be involved with such an impactful cause like Skate For Change.”
The tour stopped at 14 schools along the way, where youth motivational speaker and Founder of Skate For Change, Mike Smith, addressed close to 35,000 students about creating positive change in their communities. At each school, student leaders and volunteers helped the crew serve up hot dogs and encouraged donations from their peers. Many students also joined the team after school at shelters to hand out hot dogs and socks to the homeless.
“I’m beyond grateful to align with a brand like Wienerschnitzel that shares our passion for serving the community and, once again, I’m blown away by the intense level of support and monetary donation we received from the company. None of this would be possible without them,” Smith says. “We can feed someone once and they’ll be hungry again in a few hours, but this year we’ve added Skate For Change members and chapters that will continue our mission by reaching communities we haven’t been able to get to. I’m constantly inspired by the young people we meet and their desire to be part of something bigger.”
Tour highlights included feeding more than 100 homeless in army-grade tents at Grace Campus Shelter in Lubbock, Texas, and enlisting the help of Kelly Osbourne at a special Easter Sunday event at the Dream Center in Los Angeles. Additional celebrity cameos along the way included action sports personality Luke “The Dingo” Trembath, professional surfer Kelia Moniz, pro wakeboarders Steel Lafferty and Daniel Powers, as well as youth speaker and lead singer for Vanna, Davey Muise.
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