Jodi Harshaw, helping at the annual Holiday Outreach Initiative.

There’s something special about giving back to your community, especially during the holiday season.

Pizza Hut franchisee Hallrich Incorporated has been doing just that by helping their communities live Life Unboxed and unlock potential for quite some time. Take for example, their Holiday Outreach Initiative, a long-standing tradition of delivering hot pizzas throughout the holiday season across Ohio and in West Virginia. Pizza Hut Team Members visit Salvation Army branches, churches, and other hot-meal sites to spread Christmas cheer.

The Holiday Outreach Initiative started small but has grown substantially over the years. Carol Magazzeni, Director of Marketing and PR for Hallrich, says “The roots of the program started during the summer of 2009 in Canton, Ohio, with a back-to-school drive that fed hundreds of children and their families.” From there, Hallrich sought to do more good in the community and chose the holiday season. The team selected 12 hot-meal sites to serve, which flourished to the 16 that it caters to now. Pizza Hut Team Members, Managers, and other leaders join in by helping serve and clean the kitchen, among other tasks. The needs depend on each location, but the end result is the same. Happy, full recipients.

The outreach program was founded on Hallrich CEO Tony Szambecki’s principle that it is important to give back to those who need it most. Hallrich is a prime model of Life Unboxed, which is our promise to Team Members around the world that at Pizza Hut they can become their best, makes friends, and have fun.

Jim Groves and his daughter Tori, volunteering at the Salvation Army in Youngstown, Ohio.

Hallrich is also a strong driver of Harvest, Pizza Hut’s food donation program. After chatting with a few volunteers, you realize the depth of passion as even more community involvement stories bubble up. For instance, Tracy Waugh, a Pizza Hut Team Member of 30-plus years, uses her own farm-raised vegetables to make soup for The Banquet, a religious, nonprofit organization in Salem, Ohio. Another touching story is how one overachieving restaurant “adopts” a student each school year and provides them with clothes and other gifts. The student receives the items during a special dinner at the restaurant, making a lasting personal impact on the child and family.

Jim Groves, a district manager, talks about the positive response they receive when volunteering. Jim Smith, Hallrich senior regional manager, builds on that stating “Volunteering is also a way to make friends and connect with coworkers.” His favorite thing is that it really helps him and others to become their best.

On average, the initiative has fed approximately 2,000 people per year since 2009 and shows no signs of stopping. Kudos to everyone involved in making a difference in your communities.

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