Daily Point of Light # 2719 Jul 7, 2004

Eat ‘n Park was founded in 1949 as a carhop restaurant. Eat ‘n Park is a family restaurant and bakery chain with 79 restaurants and more than 8,000 employees (called team members) in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Every year, 5% of Eat ‘n Park’s pretax dollars are donated to nonprofit initiatives in the communities they serve. The donations are focused in four areas through Corporate Giving: Health and Human Services, Education, Community & Civic Affairs and Culture & Art. Through the Community Relations Department, Eat ‘n Park supports more than 200 events, groups and organizations annually by providing a financial contribution, donation and/or providing employee volunteers who contribute to the success of the special events and activities.

Eat ‘n Park’s employee volunteer program, “Here to Help and Proud of It,” is open to all 8,000 employees, who always make a point to volunteer for all community service projects, including fundraisers. Every year a group of Eat ‘n Park employees participates in a “Roof Top Campaign” for the Caring for Kids fundraiser, which raises money for children’s hospitals. These volunteers sit on the rook of the restaurant for three days, calling upon customers, friends, family and anyone who notices to make a donation. This event draws a lot of media attention. This year a group of volunteers at the Swatara location raised a record breaking $8,113!

Eat ‘n Park voulnteerism began many years ago when team members were asked to walk in community parades, spend a Day of Caring for the United Way (since 1994), become mentors on Job Shadow Day and many more. Although these opportunities were available, it wasn’t until 1997 that the efforts were formalized into an Employee Volunteer Program. Since then, there has been an increase in volunteers (120 to 336) in all divisions.

United Way Day of Caring/ “Read Around Pittsburgh” Day of Caring is an annual volunteer event hosted by the United Way agencies in many communities Eat ‘n Park serves. This day features projects designed to make an impact such as physical labor, painting, and clean-up projects – raising the awareness of the critical needs facing the neighborhoods where Eat ‘n Park does business. In 2002/03, Eat ‘n Park asked all of its restaurants to become team leaders and call their local United Way to get details regarding their Day of Caring events. More than 82 employees volunteered in 11 market areas. “Read Around Pittsburgh” is a new initiative from the United Way of Allegheny county to tackle the dire need for improved early childhood reading skills for low-income families in the Pittsburgh area. This event gathered more than 250 volunteers countywide at 27 early childhood centers and homes. Eat ‘n Park provided 20 volunteers for this project at a local day care near the headquarters office.

Eat ‘n Park is the title sponsor of the Hope Network Classic, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament that benefits the Hope Network’s Healthsports program, offering sports, fitness and recreation activities for children and adults with physical disabilities. This is the 13th year Eat ‘n Park has served a title sponsor. It is one of the biggest sporting events in the Pittsburgh area and attracts more than 3,500 spectators and players.