At Filta headquarters in Orlando, there’s a sign that says: “Do the Right Thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” It’s a Mark Twain quote and that “Do the Right Thing” saying runs deep throughout the office and ripples out nationwide to our Franchisees. This motto embodies the integrity and importance of making the “right” decisions on a daily basis and reflects the honesty, truth, and reliability we value in our people coast to coast.
Take JD Duncan who’s the Filta owner in Corona, between LA and San Diego. What a heart he has!
“Too often people are judged by their worst day and not their best day. Definitely not here,” says JD. “I try to not make your typical hires to give people a chance. Then I encourage them to give back and help with our 2C7 Foundation.”
The 2C7 Foundation has a mission to work with teens in the foster care system, “unadoptable kids,” if you will. They may not be good students, or they have an addiction problem. Many of the girls, although children themselves, already have kids of their own. JD and his team establish relationships and just have fun with them – kind of like a big brother or big sister. At minimum they see each teen once a month for outings like going to a baseball game, having a day at the ocean followed by a nighttime bonfire, or going to a blackberry farm and learning to drive a tractor.
JD’s team counts successes like helping to get a teen a driver’s license, boosting studying habits and grades, be eligible for sports, and helping a kid get clean and sober and into the Marines.
On the other side of the country, Leo Tartaglia’s franchise in Connecticut puts stock in people who have been down on their luck and struggling. One of his customers is FEED (The Center for Food Equity and Economic Development) which is a division of the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport. For 75 years the council has been addressing food insecurity and helping to build community wealth through food-based initiatives that offer access to affordable healthy food, living wage employment, and entrepreneurial opportunities to residents.
Leo embraces and supports their mission and especially Chef Rison Mackey who teaches cooking classes. His students can be anyone, Leo says, but they are primarily for people looking to get back on their feet and begin a career in the food industry. There’s a special emphasis on people who have been in the system.
“Chef Mackey is an inspiration to me, and I try to help him any way I can when he calls,” says Leo. “It’s my privilege to have a working relationship with such a great guy.”
Pennsylvania Healthy Homeless
In the country’s mid-section, David Hoover, his wife Laurie, and son Zach own the family business in Carlisle, a suburb west of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Work with cooking oil in commercial kitchens in area restaurants and at Hershey Park came to a screeching halt during COVID, but the company was able to offer a new service at the time called FiltaShield – a sanitizing service which the Hoovers embraced.
But they didn’t just embrace it for paying clients, they sought out some of the most vulnerable and offered the service for free. Safe Harbour is a homeless shelter which, by definition, has a revolving door and therefore was not conducive to health during a pandemic. The Hoovers offered to sanitize Safe Harbour weekly.
“We might reside here in Carlisle, but if we can get that greater community back to a safe and healthy spot where everybody can get back to normal, that’s our goal,” says Zach.
Community support like what the Hoovers did in Pennsylvania and what JD Duncan and Leo Tartaglia year ‘round in California and Connecticut are exactly the acts of kindness and neighborhood give back meant by the Filta motto. “Do the Right Thing” can be as simple as smiling at a co-worker, bringing them a cup of coffee, or returning a phone call. Or, like these three examples of larger and more magnanimous initiatives that are similarly embraced throughout the Filta network, it’s a way we all can, day in and day out, “Do the Right Thing.”