Chick-fil-A donates free meal cards
Published 10:28 pm Thursday, September 17, 2015
The North Suffolk Chick-fil-A gave away more than $4,000 in food to nearly 700 military personnel and first responders in the area on Sept. 11.
Free meal cards, worth about $7 each, were given to all 560 military personel, 50 fire fighters and 60 police officers.
Rather than give the employees food, Dan Curran, franchised restaurant operator of the Harbour View location, decided to donate the meal cards in order to ensure all of the employees received something for their service. If he had just taken food to their work locations, only the employees on duty would have benefited, he said.
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“It was a small token,” Curran said. “It’s kind of the least we could do.”
Curran mentioned a story he read that was written by a lieutenant colonel in the Army. The story compared people to being wolves, sheep or sheepdogs. Most of us are sheep, but some are wolves. Thankfully, there are sheepdogs that protect the sheep from the wolves, he said.
“And that’s what you call a hero,” Curran said of the sheepdogs, or members of the military and first responders.
In a previous store he worked at in Ohio, Curran said they held an event called “Heroes’ Day” on Sept. 11. There, they held a Touch-a-Truck event where children could see inside first responder vehicles.
When he moved to Virginia, he wanted to try to find a similar way to give back, but he didn’t want it to seem like a marketing scheme, he said.
The operators of the Frederick Boulevard, Portsmouth Boulevard and Main Street Chick-fil-A locations all worked together to come up with an idea to give back on Sept. 11, Curran said.
“We just wanted it to have dignity,” he said of whatever the group decided to do in order to commemorate the day. “It’s a day not to be celebrated, but we felt it was certainly to be honored and remembered,” he added.
After calling ahead to find the exact number of employees, Curran had someone from the Joint Staff Suffolk Complex come over to the store, but they didn’t know what to expect, he said. He presented the meal cards to that person, he said.
At another point during the day, Curran stopped by the police and fire stations to bring them their meal cards.
“They were very gracious, and as you might expect, they were very humble,” he said of the responses he received that day.
“We want this to grow,” Curran said of the outreach in future years.