For Bill Adamucci (
economics ’66) of Seattle, statistics have always held deep meaning.
• 1 in 6 Americans live in poverty
• 49 million Americans struggle with hunger
• 40% of the food in the U.S. was thrown away last year
• 1 out of 3 girls/women have been sexually assaulted
• 1 out of 5 boys/men have been sexually assaulted
(data from the 2011 U.S. census, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Justice)
As overwhelming as these figures are, Adamucci has an unshakable faith that people have the power to transform the lives behind these statistics. Adamucci —a financial executive with a strong background in mergers and acquisitions, as well as in the fundraising arena—has raised more than $40 million dollars over the past five years for non-profit organizations.
By sharing his time, talent, and treasure (and by encouraging others to do the same) he has assisted in building new facilities for food banks, Union Gospel Missions, a drug rehab center, YMCA , HeadStart, and Catholic Charities. He has served as the chairman of several capital campaigns including one for his church, Unity of Bellevue that raised $800,000, and another for FareStart that raised $12.5 million for a new restaurant/training facility.
He also holds governing board positions with FareStart and Rainier Scholars (a college prep program for underserved youth of color) as well as advisory board positions with Treehouse (a resource for foster children), and the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center. While giving back has always been important to him, the profitable sale of his company allowed his philanthropic talents to move to a whole new level. In 1994, Adamucci moved to Seattle where he met his wife (and charitable partner) Janette through a blind date set up by mutual friends.
FareStart: Tasty Philanthropy in Action
(an excerpt from the Saint Francis University Magazine Spring/Summer 2014)
What do Seattle's "most socially responsible crouton" and Saint Francis University have in common? Bill Adamucci (Economics '66), that's what.
When you dine at FareStart Restaurant in Seattle, you can sample “without a doubt, the most socially responsible crouton you will ever eat.” The idea that a crouton can change lives is one that Bill Adamucci, ’66, a member of FareStart’s Governing Board, agrees with wholeheartedly.
FareStart is a social enterprise organization that uses food to improve the lives of homeless adults and youth. Since 1992, nearly 7,000 people have benefited from the job training/placement and other offerings within the program.
The FareStart model is an amazing blend of philanthropy and entrepreneurship. The program’s $8 million budget is funded primarily through sales of contract meal and restaurant revenue, along with generous gifts from private and corporate sponsors. Only about 10 percent of the budget comes from government grant funding. If you think about it, FareStart beautifully brings to life a quote attributed to St. Francis of Assisi that we are like to use for inspiration at Saint Francis University: “Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible, suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
Every week a new group of homeless men and women begin a 16-week journey to employability. The comprehensive program combines hands-on food service training with classroom instruction, individual case management, life skills training, and job placement services.
The program isn’t a silver bullet against homelessness. Many of the participants have to come to terms with issues around drugs and alcohol use, as well as domestic violence, sexual abuse, and mental illness. FareStart partners with many other services to help increase the success rate of their students. FareStart has contracts with housing partners and covers the costs of beds during the program. They provide a transitional path as students build a payment history and save for a deposit. FareStart may also pay for housing during the first month after a participant graduates and begins to earn a paycheck. In 2013, 90 percent of the adult training participants secured employment within 90 days of graduation, and six months later 88 percent of those individuals are still in the jobs.
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