Burleigh Heads Bakers Delight Franchisee, Joanne Heidke was presented with the national Franchisee Community Responsibility and Contribution Award at this year’s Franchise Council of Australia Excellence in Franchising Awards.
This prestigious annual award recognises the generosity of franchisees across Australia and the great work they do for their local communities. Jo’s passion for and her strong connection to the local community inspired her recent efforts to donate more than 1000 bags filled with basic necessities to Share The Dignity, an Australian not-for-profit which provides homeless women and teens with basic sanitary items.
With the help of an army of loyal customers and local community members, Jo filled thousands of bags with products such as shampoo, soap and tampons, which were then donated to over 1000 homeless women and teenagers. Recruiting her husband and children to assist, Jo stored and organised thousands of donated items in her home.
During her past 12 years as a Franchisee, Jo’s tireless efforts to support community groups throughout her local area have been extraordinary and her campaign to support Australian women in crisis was both a remarkable success and a timely reminder that bakeries remain at the heart of the community.
“I have been fortunate in my life to live in a wonderful community and run a successful business that allows me to interact with warm and friendly customers every day. Through daily interaction with our loyal customers, I realised I had the power to help spread the word about local causes that matter to me, such as Share the Dignity,” said Jo.
With the help of her community, Jo managed to collect and fill 1140 bags, meaning 1140 women had one less thing to worry about over the Christmas period, something that she is extremely grateful for.
“What I loved most about this project apart from the 1140 women who had faith restored if only for a moment, was the effect that it had on my community, family and friends. I met amazing women, heard amazing stories and shared memories throughout the project that will change me forever.”