12 October 2016
“I remember one year, a single father was brought to tears when we showed up with a basket of food. He said all he had was a jar of mustard and an apple in the fridge. I put myself in that father’s shoes because I too once wondered where my next meal was going to come from. The recipients feel like they’re getting a gift, but knowing that we’re able to make a difference is the real gift.” – Tony Garcia, President of Families Helping Families
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Anheuser-Busch is known for brewing some of the world’s most famous beers and its legacy of generosity and corporate giving is as long as the company’s rich brewing history. Since 1997, Anheuser-Busch and its foundation, The Anheuser-Busch Foundation, have donated more than $573 million to charitable organizations.
That spirit of support and philanthropy also takes root in the company’s brewery cities, where employees and partners work closely to positively impact their local communities. In Fairfield, Calif., current and retired Anheuser-Busch employees have taken their efforts a step further through operation of their own charitable organization, Families Helping Families. Together with numerous volunteers, the organization helps Solano County residents in need with monetary donations, food and personal supplies,
In 1985, a neighbor of an Anheuser-Busch employee suffered a home fire right before Thanksgiving. The employee, Bill Stewart, went to work in the following days and gathered donations – clothes, food and even monetary donations – from his fellow employees. Bill saw that if his colleagues could make such a difference with one family, they could help hundreds more. From there, Families Helping Families was born.
Working closely with local shelters, churches and other community groups, Families Helping Families selects worthy families to help based on their needs. Proceeds from some events at the Anheuser-Busch Fairfield tour center – like Paint Nite, First Fridays Concert Series and the annual Bud Classic Car Show – directly benefit the foundation.
Since its inception, the nonprofit has raised more than $800,000 to help friends and neighbors of the brewery. The bulk of the donations have gone toward creating “Baskets of Hope,” which include a full Thanksgiving dinner, plus an additional two weeks’ worth of food for a family of four. The Families Helping Families program delivers 300 Baskets of Hope each year and $100 gift cards for senior citizens. Other portions of the donations help fill backpacks full of school supplies for kids.
What began as a single act of kindness has grown significantly over the years thanks to the work and passion of many. The good work continued at the 7thAnnual Bud Classic Car Show last month, where proceeds from the event benefitted Families Helping Families.
To learn more about Families Helping Families, visitFamiliesHelpingFamiliesSolanoCounty.com. For more information on upcoming events at the Anheuser-Busch Fairfield Brewery and Tour Center, visitBudweiserTours.com.