Giving back has always been important to Oak Harbor Pita Pit Franchisee Lisa Meyers.
“I was raised that way, that when you have the means to support something good, you always should,” Meyers said. “Growing up my mom would always have me selling calendars or baked goods for one organization or another.”
Upon winning a company award, Meyers pledged $3,000 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, which is not out of character for the Washington mom. But it was her story that inspired fellow franchisees to jump in with donations of their own.
Meyers' son, Parker, had been diagnosed with osteopetrosis as an infant, a disease that left him with bone thickening and loss of nerve function, among other side effects. Parker needed a bone marrow transplant and Meyers got to work raising money to get that transplant for him by selling t-shirts. After the transplant didn't take, Make-a-Wish stepped in to provide the family with a trip to Disneyland.
“Being at the hospital for so long, we weren’t able to take Parker out very much because he could get sick which would make things worse,” Meyers said. “So for this trip, it was going to give us that chance to get out.”
Sadly, Parker passed away before they could make the trip at just 15 months old.
After Meyers shared her story, her colleagues jumped at the chance to support the organization and families like the Meyers as well, raising $23,000 in just 30 minutes.
“It was an emotional time for me,” Meyers said. “It showed me how people could be passionate about a cause because of someone else’s loss. It was very moving to see so many people respond like that, I wouldn’t have thought something like that could happen.”