How Chick-Fil-A Changes the Game for Special Olympics New York

Yes, we all like their food…but we like their philanthropy even more!

We’re talking about Chick-fil-A, of course. This popular food franchise has been ramping up their involvement with our organization and athletes, and we couldn’t be happier to have their support.

Supporting Athletes & Employees

Long Island Region athlete Jessica Spitz isn’t just a fan of Chick-fil-A—she works there, too.

“I love my coworkers,” Jessica told us. “It’s like a family environment.”

Jessica has been working at Chick-fil-A in Commack, NY for three years, where she is a front-of-house team member. “My favorite part about working at Chick-fil-A is interacting with the guests that come into the restaurant,” she said.

When she’s not working at Chick-fil-A, she’s competing. Jessica has been a Special Olympics NY athlete for 10 years, where she participates in powerlifting, floor hockey, softball, basketball, track & field, golf, and bocce. In addition, Jessica serves as Chair on our Statewide Athlete Leadership Council. All these experiences have helped her become a standout worker.

“Training and competing with Special Olympics NY has really helped with my confidence and communication,” she told us.

This past March, Jessica’s hard work paid off. She was invited to visit Chick-fil-A’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

“Visiting headquarters was an amazing experience,” said Jessica. “I felt like I was at a resort. We went on several tours and saw the test kitchens as well as the red couch where they film the commercials. I also got to give a framed picture of my team to the executives to thank them for sponsoring us. Another thing I really loved was how the hospitality I learned at my local CFA is a huge part of the culture at corporate as well .”

Jessica’s visit was an amazing experience—and it was only the start of our partnership with Chick-fil-A.

Not Chicken About Fundraising

Inspired by Jessica’s contributions to the company, two downstate locations have become sponsors for our Long Island Region Polar Plunges. Furthermore, Jessica’s location offers giveback days and in-kind donations.

And it’s not just Long Island that’s in on the fun. Law & Orders nights are happening (or have happened) at several locations all over the state. At these popular fundraising nights, members of local law enforcement team up with our athletes to serve patrons, collecting donations for Special Olympics NY in the process.

Chick-fil-A already hosted us in the North Country earlier this month, and we’ve got more coming to our Capital District and Western Regions soon. Furthermore, our Genesee Region will visit Chick-fil-A Irondequoit on Friday, September 22nd from 10am – 7pm for a fundraising night of its own.

“We look forward to our fundraising nights each and every year,” said Stacey Hengsterman, President & CEO of Special Olympics New York. “At Chick-fil-A Irondequoit, our athletes are looking forward to seeing their friends in law enforcement, and we all enjoy meeting our greatest supporters in the community.”

If you’re nearby any of these events, feel free to stop in. Come for the food and stay for the company!

Spreading the Impact

If you’re a local franchisee and you want to get involved, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us for more information.

And thanks as always to our partners at Chick-fil-A! We appreciate your support.