No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – (Aesop)
Worldwide101 is celebrating Kindness Week (Feb. 12-17th) with a look at some of the businesses, big and small, that we admire for the difference they make in the world.
While we strive to create a culture of giving and kindness amongst our own team, and support various non-profits too, we’re always blown away by the creative approach certain companies take when finding ways to give back, and serve the planet.
That’s why today, we’re celebrating brands who’ve made paying it forward a part of their mission, and have become amazing examples for all companies as a result.
Here are a few of our favorites:
Rosa’s Fresh Pizza
Rosa’s Fresh Pizza, appropriately based in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has put themselves on the map with their initiative.
This initiative allows customers to pay it forward in a fast, delicious way: by purchasing a slice of pizza for the homeless when they purchase a slice of pizza for themselves.
While the pizzeria was originally aiming to just do a bit of good for some of the hundreds of homeless in Philly, the story hit Facebook… and promptly exploded.
The post featuring Rosa’s good deeds racked up a whopping 25 million views on FB alone, and they’ve given away over 23,000 slices of pizzas to date — a 130% increase in prior sales. The walls of the pizzeria are also covered floor-to-ceiling with post it notes and messages of hope and encouragement from donors.
But doing good didn’t stop there. The restaurant owner Mason Wartman has even started selling apparel featuring art by homeless designers, with half of all revenue going back to help the homeless community in Philly.
Even cooler? And you can pay it forward even if you’re not a local – here’s the link!
Robin Hood Restaurant in Spain
Owned by an 80-year-old Catholic priest, Angel Garcia Rodriguez (known as “Padre Angel”), this Madrid, Spain restaurant’s mission stays true to its title by charging the rich, and feeding the poor.
Here’s how it works: patrons who enjoy the restaurant’s breakfast and lunch pay for the dinner served to the homeless community in the evenings. When night falls, homeless customers arrive, and can sit down to a delicious meal with dignity, free of charge.
It is a bright light of hope and charity in a nation where unemployment has reached a whopping 20%. The restaurant serves more than 100 hungry people each night in two sittings.
While this may not sound like a viable business model for a restaurant, Robin Hood has now become Spain’s most sought-after lunch destination. It also attracts talent from all over the world, with celebrity chefs, staff from luxury hotels, and more inquiring about how they can join, serve, and support the restaurant’s bigger mission.
It’s also worth noting: Lunch is currently booked up through the end of March.
KIND snack company
For Daniel Lubetzky, a business model with kindness built-in has been something of a lifelong calling.
When he was 26, he founded Peaceworks — a food company famous for its Middle Eastern fare, as well as its goal to bring together Israelis, Arabs, Turks and employees from other nations in conflict together under the same roof.
The goal? To encourage inter-cultural understanding, support, and cooperation, and help employees realize that despite their differences, there is no gap that can’t be bridged. Twenty years later, it’s still proudly in business.
Now, having founded the famous KIND snack brand (known for its high-quality, wholesome ingredients), Lubetzky has shifted focus from cooperation to — you guessed it — kindness culture.
For example, inside the company, team members can send “Kindos”, which allows them to celebrate a colleague with an email sent to an internal email address, thanking them for their help, brilliance, etc. It allows employees to share gratitude and kudos, which serves to help team members see each other more like friends and family, instead of just co-workers.
The KIND Foundation also celebrates and recognizes those helping others in need. Over the past few years, they’ve donated over $1 million to 7 individuals inspiring real change with their social causes across the planet.
Nominations for The Kind Foundation are currently closed — but when they re-open, consider sharing the name of someone you admire who’s changing the world.
In December 2015, Toyota kicked off a campaign with a very unique premise: using the power of selfies for good.
Aptly entitled “#Selflessie”, the campaign encourages people to snap and post a selfie of them doing something – you guessed it – sellfess. Participants took photos of themselves or others performing acts of kindness, and posted them to social media using the branded hashtag.
For every selfie, Toyota donated $50 to Boys & Girls clubs of America up to $250,000.
How effective was the campaign?
Here’s a hint: The total cap was eventually raised to $750,000 due to the campaign’s popularity.
Feel inspired to spread some kindness now, too?
We’re so grateful that so many people focus on giving, caring, and kindness – and together, we can make this world a safer, happier place for all.