Incredible Pizza Partnership with Great Circle
Springfield’s Incredible Pizza has been partnering with Great Circle for about four months.
Great Circle is a Missouri based non-profit that has become one of the most comprehensive providers of behavioral health services in all of Missouri. They provide an atmosphere where families and individuals can grow and learn in times of struggle. The trained professionals who work for great circle are guided by the Core Values of compassion, diversity, fun, integrity, mission-focused, professional excellence, stewardship, and transparency. Great Circle hopes to equip families with the tools and support they need to reach a place where they can thrive.
Some examples of services Great Circle offers are 24-Hour care, Autism services, Counseling, Crisis Services, Education, Home and Community Based services, Parenting Support, Day Care, Psychological Services, Foster Parent Training, Supervised visitation, Foster Care Case Management, Intensive Family Intervention Services, Intensive Family Reunification Services, and Transitional Living Group Homes.
Incredible Pizza supports Great Circle’s mission, and we hope to make an impact for children, and to be a part of building a better future. We have strived to help Great Circle in three ways: fundraising, employment, and creating a safe place for families to rebuild.
Incredible Pizza understands that our customers are all in different financial situations. We choose to offer multiple options for fundraising. We ask our guests if they would like to round up their purchase to the nearest dollar, and we also ask guests if they would like to make a $5 donation and we give them a Free Attraction at our store. So far the Springfield store has raised about $4,000 for great circle- that’s an average of $40 a day! Our goal is to train our cashiers to ask every customer if they would like to donate to at risk youth, and we have high hopes to raise $30-50,000 a year for Great Circle.
Incredible Pizza knows and is sensitive to the struggles that at-risk youth have gone through. At age 17, Missouri residents are considered adults. It can be difficult to find jobs at 17 when you’ve had a rough life. Springfield’s Incredible Pizza has given Great Circle applicants 1st chance to an interview. If a Great Circle teen applies for an open position at Incredible Pizza, we guarantee them an interview. This doesn’t always mean they will get hired, but we make sure to give them a fair chance at gainful employment in an environment that is fun and supportive.
Safe and Fun Place for Families
Along with what we have already implemented, Springfield’s Incredible Pizza is in the process of creating a program with Great Circle to bring families and groups in to have fun in a safe environment at no cost to the families or individuals. Many circumstances can lead to a family being separated, and there are times where reintegration is possible. Incredible Pizza is in the process of setting up a visitation pass system with Great Circle to bring those families in and let them reconnect in a safe, fun, and positive environment. This also expands to the group homes run by Great Circle. We want to provide an incentive system to those who are living in group homes the chance to experience fun with free group events for celebration of achieving goals and reaching milestones.
Expanding to St. Louis
We are pleased with our partnership with Great Circle in Springfield and have decided to expand our partnership to our St. Louis location in the coming months. To start in St. Louis, we will be implementing the same Fundraising strategy that we have been using in Springfield.
To learn more about Great Circle visit: www.greatcircle.org
Work, school, sports practices, music lessons, rehearsals, and many other scheduling conflicts can make it seem impossible to sit down together for a family meal. We get so caught up in all of our commitments that we often end up eating breakfast bars on the go, and picking up dinner at the drive-through. A recent study by Eckrick showed that 40% of American families eat dinner together only three or fewer times a week. The report also showed that 88% of families would like to increase the time spent with their family at the dinner table.
It can be hard to work your family meals around your crazy life, but here are 7 reasons why you should try!
Better GradesA research study by the American College of Pediatricians revealed that “Teens who have dinner with their families seven times a week are almost 40 percent likelier to say they receive mostly A’s and B’s in school.”
Healthier ChoicesThe same study reveals that children ages 9-14 are 24% more likely to eat healthier foods when families eat meals together. Kids are more likely to be introduced to (and like) fruits and veggies. They are more likely to choose healthy snacks over salty and sugary snacks.
Better relationshipsHaving mealtime as a family has been linked to building better bonds within your family. Kids feel closer to their parents and are more likely to be open and honest about any issues they’re dealing with.
Mental healthFinding time to eat with your family can reduce stress in kids and adults. Rituals like mealtimes add some structure to a world that often feels frenzied and out of control. Knowing that one part of your day is going to unfold in basically the same way as every other day is comforting.
Teach New SkillsMealtime and preparation is a great way to get your kids excited about learning to cook. Kids are more likely to try new foods and meals if they help cook them. Let them help make the weekly menu, set the table, prepare the food- cooking is a basic skill they’ll need to learn eventually. When I was growing up, my mom assigned each of the kids one night to make dinner each month. It was a great learning activity.
Knowledgeable KidsKids who have family mealtime also have bigger vocabularies and faster language development. Children hear longer discussions, narratives, and hear more words. Language activities in preschool aged children can drastically affect their future literacy skills.
Save MoneyFamily mealtimes usually take some planning to pull off. Planning ahead can actually save you money! If you plan your mealtimes in advance you can lower your number of trips to the store. You also save on last minute fast food decisions. If you know you’ll still end up going out two or three times a week, plan in advance.
After I learned the positive impacts of having mealtimes with my family, I started doing my best to make it happen at least three times a week. My husband and I sit down together each Saturday and make our meal plan for the upcoming week. We make a list of everything we need for the week and get our grocery shopping done. If I’m feeling really ahead of the game, I even prep things that can be prepped for later in the week on Sunday afternoon to save time on week nights. We usually take turns cooking. Our daughter is only 10 months old, so she’s not much help in the kitchen (yet). Once dinner is done we eat together at the table. We even pull up the baby’s high chair to the table so she’s eating dinner with us too. She’s already got the art of back and forth conversation down. We can’t understand her babbling nonsense yet, but she understands that people take turns when they’re talking.
Making mealtime a priority can change your family dynamics in so many positive ways. These are only a few of the major benefits. One thing that is important to remember is that every family is different. What works for my family might not work for yours and vice versa. Tailor your mealtimes to YOUR family and find what works for you. If you can’t make it work every day, pick a couple nights a week. If dinners are impossible for your family, have breakfast together each morning. The most important thing is to bond with your family and create healthy conversation and connection.