WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Covelli Enterprises, Panera Bread’s largest franchisee, is set to partner once again with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation for the month of December.
The partnership, which has spanned more than 35 years and resulted in more than $500,000 donated, will include a $15,000 donation, a $1,000 toy display at the Elm Road Panera Bread in Warren and fundraising through the Community Bread Boxes in all Mahoning Valley area Panera Bread bakery-cafes.
This year, the company has taken its support to a new level, committing the Community Bread Box canister donations from every single Covelli-owned bakery-café across seven states.
In conjunction with raising cash donations, all participating Covelli markets will send volunteers to purchase and distribute toys alongside Toys for Tots representatives. This has been a tradition for Covelli and his employees for many years in the Valley that will now be expanded to other markets.
Staff Sgt. Jeremy Lehman, USMC said, “If we didn’t have the amazing individuals like the Covelli’s and this community we would not be able to provide a Christmas to the kids that are in need.”
On Friday, Covelli Enterprises hosted a check presentation of $15,000 to the local Toys for Tots program. The ceremony will took place at 10 a.m. at the company’s Elm Road Panera Bread location, where it had $1,000 worth of toys on display which were donated to the charity.
The donation is an annual tradition for the Covelli’s.
Caryn Covelli said, “There’s nothing more important than having a Christmas gift under the tree for a young child and I know my husband and I are so concerned about doing things and giving back to the community. So what could be more important this time of the year than giving back to the children.”
These donations provided Christmas presents for nearly eight thousand children this year.
Sam Covelli, owner and operator of Covelli Enterprises, said they have supported this cause for over three decades.
“It is a true privilege to be able to partner with Toys for Tots in all of our Panera Bread bakery-cafes,” he said. “It’s because we care about taking care of people in need in our communities, especially children and especially during the holiday season.”
Retired Marine Colonel Ted Silvester, vice president of the Toys for Tots Foundation, said they are pleased to welcome Panera Bread as a national corporate sponsor of the 2017 Marine Toys for Tots Campaign.
“Their community service goals certainly align with those the Marine Corps has promoted for nearly 70 years through our Toys for Tots Program,” he said. “With their generous support we will be able to fulfill the Christmas holiday dreams of less fortunate children who otherwise might be forgotten.”