WASHINGTON, D.C. and AUSTIN, TX (September 21, 2011 – PRNewswire)—The National Restaurant Association (NRA) and the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) have jointly launched "Freedom is Sweet!TM", a fundraising campaign to support rehabilitation efforts for military veterans. Funds raised will go toward helping vets from all branches of service and their families with housing, medical, athletic, occupational and physical training programs. The pilot program in Texas is expected to become a nationwide community affairs initiative of the National Restaurant Association and partner state restaurant associations next year.
Participating restaurants on and around the Veteran's Day holiday on November 11, 2011, will dedicate a portion of their revenues to the Freedom is Sweet! campaign. Donations will be administered by the National Restaurant Association and program administrator, Tee it up for the Troops, a 501(c)3 that sends 95 cents of every dollar to various charities supporting military veteran rehabilitation.
Freedom is Sweet! provides restaurant operators numerous opportunities to raise funds for military charities and support the campaign, including:
- Customer-funded contributions. such as donations and discount coupons for future visits;
- Donating a percentage of sales from Veteran's Day-related sales;
- Designating a specific menu item whose proceeds support Freedom is Sweet!;
- Creating a specialty drink or dessert whose proceeds support the campaign;
- Offering free meals or free menu items to veterans and members of the military.
"The National Restaurant Association and the entire industry have supported military causes for decades. Moving forward, we believe that Freedom Is Sweet! can become a long-term, focused program to support and positively impact the lives of the active military, veterans and their families," said David Gilbert, Chief Operating Officer, National Restaurant Association. "As more of our military service men and women return home, our industry will also work to ensure that careers are available to them and their families, especially as we work through the National Restaurant Educational Foundation to offer scholarships to those in the military seeking professional training in the culinary arts or hospitality management."