The holidays tend to bring out the best in everyone, and our Pizza Hut teams in Phoenix, Arizona, once again showed why they’re the best at giving back to their community, participating in this year’s Ignite Hope event to benefit the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. In December, Hot Pizzas LLC donated 150 pizzas, as well as $20,000 to the event, a 2-mile walk to bring cheer and good wishes for patients who are hospitalized during the holidays.
This was the fourth year the Hospital has hosted the event, and the second year Pizza Hut has stepped up to make sure it’s a success. Ignite Hope was inspired by a young cancer patient whose friends brought holiday love to the whole hospital when they held a candlelight vigil outside her window right before Christmas. Four years later, more than 2,500 people gather to walk down the streets of Phoenix to the Hospital, where there’s a tree lighting ceremony, caroling, and patients hold candles to their window to welcome the parade of supporters.
Giving back is a core part of what it means to be a team member at Hot Pizzas LLC. In addition to their participation in the Ignite Hope event, the teams also held a fundraising campaign in March to raise over $41,000 to benefit the hospital. Matt Simpson, a Field Marketing Representative at the franchise, says Phoenix Children’s is a cause close to the hearts of people cross the state. “If you’re in Phoenix, everyone knows at least one person whose life has been affected by Phoenix Children’s Hospital,” says Matt.
One of the RGMs in Phoenix, Melissa, and her team developed a personal connection to the event. Melissa says, “At the start of our journey with PCH we realized that we did not know how much the hospital effected our community. No one on our team has had to use the hospital. However, when we did the first event and the fundraiser we got to see how PCH touches the lives of our customers and community. They began sharing their experiences with us.
“Their stories really moved us. Fundraising in the past has been difficult for our restaurant, because we never get to see the impact of the donations. With PCH, the results walk in our door every day in the form of laughing happy kids and grateful parents. We love working the tent at the Ignite Hope event. It is a chance to see, talk and laugh with all the wonderful people who are there to help kids. This is a cause that has touched our hearts and souls. This is why we show up in force with many more wanting to come but had to run the store. Thank you for giving us a view of the kind side of people and letting us be involved.” And thank you, Melissa and team, for going above and beyond to make pizza night—and every night—a little extra special.