Saul’s story: Philanthropy as a family tradition

Saul (right) with his famous family.
Saul (right) with his famous family.

If there’s one thing Saul Spady is familiar with, it’s burgers. But not just any sort of burgers. Saul is the grandson of the founder of Dick’s Drive-In, a cultural icon in the city of Seattle.

Saul is the President and Creative Director of Cre8ive Empowerment, a company that provides social media and digital marketing campaigns for philanthropic causes. His journey to becoming socially-minded began with the legacy his grandfather left behind.

“My grandfather’s philosophy was always, first make a profit; followed quickly with always respect your workers,” says Saul. “So, he started giving scholarships to our workers to go to college. We celebrate every person who joins our work family and is enabled to get schooling so they can move forward with their life.”

Saul’s mother continued that tradition with a small, inconspicuous addition to the restaurants that had a major impact.

“’Change for Charity’ is a little box on the counter of every Dick’s restaurant where our customer can donate their change,” Saul says. “Mom started this project 20 years ago and you’d be surprised how quickly change adds up. “

“We are able to collect $10,000 each month and give it to six charities that benefit people who are homeless in our community. I’d estimate over a quarter of a million dollars have been donated over the years,” he says.

This explains why Saul started Cre8ive Empowerment. His social media-driven malaria awareness campaign was nominated for Africa’s Best Social Media Campaign in 2015. He’s also directed campaigns here in the United States – including Mary’s Place in Seattle.

Last month, Saul teamed up with the Millionair Club Charity to combat homelessness by launching a campaign to help us upgrade our commercial kitchen, which supports our meals program.

“What gets to me about the Millionair Club Charity is that all of their services – food, showers, laundry, clothing – are geared towards finding people a job. And by giving them a job, you give them a reason to go forward,” Saul says.

Saul tells us meeting face-to-face with the individuals who come through our programs inspire him to believe that issues of homelessness and unemployment can be solved and don’t have to persist.

“Sleeping under a tree might not kill you physically, but it can do something to your mind; your self-esteem and self-worth,” he says. “That person needs someone like the great people at the Millionair Club to say you CAN solve your problems and get a job.”

Did you know?

Since 1954, Dick’s Drive-In co-founder Dick Spady has led one of the most popular food service establishments in Seattle, earning both “best burger awards” and community service recognition.  Around 13 years ago, Dick started making special deliveries of burgers and milkshakes for the Millionair Club Charity’s community lunches. Since then, they’ve donated items for auctions, sponsored events, and continue to provide hundreds of burgers every week for our hungry men and women.

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