When I was younger and creating Edible I never thought I’d be writing about a donut product! But here we are on National Donut Day, celebrating the launch of Edible’s brand new donuts. You might be wondering, how can fruit be a donut? These donut-shaped treats are made with crisp Granny Smith apples and covered in 100 percent real gourmet chocolate. They also come with a variety of topping choices, including a colorful chocolate glaze, sprinkles, caramelized hazelnut crunch, and coconut shavings.
The holiday season is upon us and I’m taking a moment to reflect and share how Edible and employees from my companies have supported our communities this year.
Ten Edible employees – trained in Junior Achievement curriculum – volunteered for JA Day at Highland Elementary School in Wallingford, CT. Working in pairs, they taught JA’s ‘Our Community’ program. Youngsters learned about careers and how all jobs help a community.
Employees and franchise owners from across the country donated to Edible Cares™ to help gulf coast franchisees affected by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. Their generosity, along with a corporate gift, provided nearly $20,000 to franchisees, employees and their families in Texas, Florida, Georgia and Louisiana.
$20,000 of fresh fruit was donated in Los Angeles, CA; Dallas TX; Atlanta, GA and New York, NY. More locally, we supported arts, health, food and shelter organizations with product donations like chocolate dipped fruit, Edible to Go® fresh fruit cups and of course, fruit arrangements. Special thanks to the many Edible Arrangements stores who helped with our outreach efforts.
The 3-foot tall, 65-pound Incredible Edible® donated to the Eli Whitney Museum’s Leonard in Bloom Challenge (bottom right), took me back to my roots. The artists who took part in the Challenge submitted work focused on the beauty of flowers. As you know, it was flowers which seeded my inspiration to design the fresh fruit arrangements.
The Edible team delivered over 100 coats to Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS) in New Haven, CT (top right). The coats were donated by employees from the corporate office. IRIS will distribute the coats to resettled refugees.
Employees from Netsolace, one of my technology companies, manned the assembly line at Connecticut Food Bank (top left and center & bottom left) to fill food boxes for hungry families.
I am proud of the team’s compassion and generosity to build a better future for our community. It’s true that happiness and peace can be found in acts of kindness.
The countdown to summer has begun. Please join me in a countdown to summer and help give Greater New Haven children a summer full of adventures and opportunities. Since 1905, the New Haven Register’s Fresh Air Fund, a non-profit, has provided summer experiences to more than 35,000 young people in greater New Haven.
When you give to the New Haven Register Fresh Air Fund, you are giving children that chance to sit in the sun and laugh, learn and celebrate summer. Fresh Air Fund campers are the kids who motivate their peers and give back. They’re the kids who grow into future leaders. They might establish their own companies, like I did.
Growing up in West Haven, I benefited from going to summer camp. I believe in giving back and making opportunities available for others, especially children. Three years ago, The Tariq Farid Foundation made its first donation to the Fresh Air Fund to help send kids to camp. Recently, the Foundation made another donation.
I believe that when God blesses you, the way to be thankful is to look around and give back.
Help a young person to experience all the fun, friendships and adventures that summer camp offers. Consider a donation to the Fresh Air Fund. It doesn’t take a lot to make a difference.
“Kermit saved my life,” Tyrese told me. “He introduced me to basketball and taught me the importance of education and healthy living. That allowed me to go to college, but I always knew that I wanted to come back and do something similar to help the youth.”
And that is exactly what he has done.
After graduating from Rhode Island, Tyrese returned to New Haven and has teamed up with Kermit again to create the Sullivan Basketball Academy Mentoring Program.
The Academy promotes education, healthy eating and exercise among New Haven’s youth while also teaching them basketball skills. The program challenges the youth to succeed academically by providing constant monitoring and mentoring. In return, the athletes have the opportunity to travel around the country where they visit colleges and compete in basketball tournaments, as they will this month when they travel to Massachusetts, Atlantic City and Maryland.
“Some of these kids have never had a chance to leave New Haven,” Tyrese said.
Tyrese, who was born and raised in New Haven, said he is a living example of the impact such a program can have on a young man or woman. After graduating in 2006, Tyrese returned to New Haven and took over a youth program that had been developed by Kermit. After several years they decided to establish a non-profit organization and thus the Sullivan Academy was born.
“We are taking baby steps right now, but our plan is to grow this into something special,” Tyrese said. “We’ve received tremendous feedback from the community, but the biggest issue has been resources. Fundraising is so difficult, and I hate to ask the parents to reach into their pockets because they are already so stretched.”
That’s why it was an easy decision for the Tariq Farid Foundation to lend its support the Sullivan Academy. They are doing a tremendously important job of giving hope to our youth and helping them learn to become successful men and women. And that aligns perfectly with one of our missions, which is to support educational and skill development opportunities that enable individuals to reach their full potential.
“We are trying to give them balance in their lives,” Tyrese said. “We want let them know that there is much more to life than drugs, alcohol and violence.”
Giving back is very important to me because, as I often say, with success comes responsibility. I adhere to this belief and am both honored and humbled to be able to support many organizations that help those in need, through the Tariq Farid Foundation.
As its name suggests, the Umbrella Center provides domestic violence services for women and children, including an emergency shelter, long term housing, support groups and counseling. This amazing organization serves an astonishing 19 towns in southern Connecticut.
Unfortunately, the need for BHcare’s services is great. It is estimated that every nine seconds, a woman is battered in the United States. Every year, the Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence Services provides emergency shelter, a 24-hour crisis hotline, counseling, court advocacy and support services to over 7,000 victims and their children, all from the 19 towns they serve in Connecticut.
On Saturday, March 14th, BHcare will be holding its 27th Annual Bowl-2-Benefit, in Milford, Connecticut. This fundraiser is one of the largest of its kind in Connecticut with over 1,200 people participating!
And why not? You can enjoy a fun time with family or friends, while supporting an important cause. The cost to register is only $5 per person and it is requested that bowlers try to raise $50 each. This can be easily accomplished by securing $10 donations from five different people.
So, if you are a resident of central or southern Connecticut, please consider taking part in this fundraiser. You will have fun, meet amazing people and help support an important cause all at once! What could be better than that?
For more information or to sign up for the Bowl to Benefit, please click here.