Chick-fil-A Delivers Into Yarnell Fire Zone
The day after the tragic death of 19 fire fighters in the Arizona wildfires, the Senior Leader at a Chick-fil-A restaurant named Misty Durant received a phone call from one of her customers.
Dave Porter, an officer for the Department of Public Safety, had eaten lunch daily at Chick-fil-A for years. On the phone, Dave told Misty he wouldn’t be making it in for lunch that day because
he was staffing a wildfire checkpoint on the freeway. Before hanging up, he offhandedly suggested that Misty’s team deliver lunch to the checkpoint.
Misty appreciated the call and wanted to serve her customer. After realizing that her Restaurant location was too far from the checkpoint to deliver the food, Misty called Bruce Ploeser,
the owner/operator of the restaurant where she works, who in turn spoke with Jeff Myles, owner/operator of a nearby restaurant. Together they set a plan in motion for Bruce to send raw product
from his location to Jeff’s restaurant where it would be cooked and loaded into a catering vehicle. Restaurant Marketing Directors Liz Norman and Laura Tucker then drove the vehicle, loaded with
150 sandwiches, to the freeway checkpoint. At the checkpoint, firefighters were working the fire while safety officers blocked the roadway and kept people from entering the dangerous area. Dave met
her there and took the bags of hot Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwiches into the road-blocked, restricted zone, distributing them throughout the checkpoint. The officers and firefighters savored the food.
"Just minutes after leaving Jeff’s store, our product was making a difference," Bruce says. "We don’t put bad guys in jail, or fight fires, but we do nourish and lift spirits. The sandwiches and
plush cows that went to the front line served as encouragement to those who are standing in the gap between a fire and further destruction."
Officer Porter says Chick-fil-A went above and beyond: "I was surprised, but when I thought about what kind of company they are, I wasn’t surprised anymore. It was nice to see something familiar up
there in the fire zone — it gave us a little time and space away from what was going on around us."
The following day, Bruce and other Arizona Chick-fil-A owners, including the Scottsdale, Arrowhead and Surprise Marketplace locations, joined forces to make an even bigger impact, delivering 200
additional sandwiches to the men and women at the fire line.
"It wasn’t just the hills of Arizona on fire," Bruce says, "The idea caught fire." Chick-fil-A was able to feed people at each checkpoint and throughout the mountain.
The firefighters have managed to control the fires and are etting residents back through the checkpoints into Yarnell. The town remains shaken by tragedy and destruction, but they honor their
heroes, and the Chick-fil-A team continues to look for opportunities to reach out and serve.
"People matter. Serving them is our goal. There are so many people we can touch in positive ways. I love that I get to bless people through Chick-fil-A all the time. A simple thing can change people's
day and even their outlook on life," Liz concludes.
A Charitable Chick-fil-A
For the past 2 years, I have volunteered to work for a charity, called "Share Our Strength". It's a read more...