White Castle is asking cravers to round-up for Autism Speaks
June 14, 2021
Meet Lonna L. – general manager of White Castle Store #53 in St. Louis, Missouri. This long-time “Craver” has been part of the family-owned company for the past 30 years and takes pride in serving her local community the famous hamburger sliders that have become synonymous with the brand over the last century.
Along with serving up fresh-to-order meals, each year around this time, Lonna and her team have the opportunity to help raise money in support of Autism Speaks and the millions of people in the autism community. With several team members in the restaurant having personal connections to autism, it’s all-hands-on-deck when it comes to encouraging customers to get involved in the campaign that is near and dear to the heart of the White Castle family.
“Throughout the years, our push to support Autism Speaks and its community has continued to grow. The organization has become a part of the lives of every team member who walks through our doors. Many of us have people in our lives on the autism spectrum, and through our fundraising campaign, we have been able to learn more and grow as individuals,” shares Lonna.
Since the campaign began in 2009, Lonna’s castle has contributed more than $50,000 to the $9million in total that White Castle has donated to Autism Speaks in support of its mission to promote solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span for the needs of people with autism and their families. As part of their “Castle Shares” initiative, which is dedicated to making a difference in communities by feeding hunger, hopes and dreams, White Castle’s support of Autism Speaks to enhance the lives of people on the spectrum, makes them one of the largest and most dedicated corporate supporters to date.
“I’m so proud of how much my team has contributed and it only pushes me to keep that number growing every year. When we all push together, we can create an enormous impact that will be noticed for years to come. I know we can go even further and change even more lives with our “Round-Up” campaign - even the smallest donation can make a difference.”
For the second year in a row, White Castle team members will ask customers if they want to “round up” their bill to the nearest dollar for Autism Speaks. From July 1, 2021, to August 31, 2021, every cent raised will help fund innovative research, advocacy, programs and resources to create a world where all people with autism can reach their full potential. Every time Lonna or one of her team members acquire a round-up donation, she says there’s an excitement that pulses throughout the restaurant and inspires everyone to keep pushing.
The hope is that the more of a buzz this campaign can generate, the more people will notice and be inspired to get involved. Whether that’s buying puzzle pieces, rounding up their bill or simply donating out of the goodness of their heart, Lonna is willing to do whatever it takes to make a difference.
“One of my favorite interactions was with our long-time customer and “Craver Hall of Fame” participant “Flavy Buster.” Throughout Buster’s many years of eating at our White Castle location, he became extremely invested in the campaign for Autism Speaks. He would donate raffle items, distribute donation coupons to encourage others to donate and even donated generous amounts of his own money to help the campaign. Buster never missed an Autism Speaks event with our castle and was a large supporter for many years.”
We are truly inspired by organizations like White Castle and people like Lonna who are changing the lives of people with autism in their communities.