Tag: charity

“Helping Kids See A Cancer-Free Tomorrow.”

Throughout the entire month of September, your generous donation will help fund the pediatric cancer research, treatment, and programs lead by the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. Help us provide greater hope to these families – simply “Round It Up“!


CCRF_website_imgFueled by compassion since 1981, the Children’s Cancer Research Fund has revolutionized the way childhood cancer is treated worldwide. Its investments in key research initiatives and patient care have led to innovative treatments, faster cures, new discoveries, and compassionate quality-of-life programs that give hope to pediatric patients and their families.

Over the last thirty years, CCRF provided $130 million to support world-class research, a culture of collaboration and a proven track record of bringing therapies from the lab to children. With the help of the Children’s Cancer Research Fund, this leading-edge research has helped increase the childhood cancer survival rate up to 80 percent. However, cancer remains the nation’s leading cause of death by disease among children. The work of CCRF is not finished until every child facing cancer becomes a healthy survivor.

Your donation provides seed money grants that help researchers advance new ideas and win competitive, multi-million dollar grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute. Every dollar you give leads to an average of $18 in additional funding.

CRAVE has been a longtime advocate of supporting the communities we serve. From our CRAVE Cares program to participating in nonprofit events, striving to better serve our community is at the core of our mission. We take pride in our natural propensity to give back.

Make a Reservation & Support Children’s Cancer Research Fund TODAY! 



CRAVE Omaha recently hosted the Greater Omaha Chamber and Peyton Manning as they presented a check to Peyton Manning’s PeyBack Foundation.  Seventeen Omaha companies awarded a check for $68,850 to benefit the PeyBack Foundation, a thank you for the #OmahaOmaha phenomenon. (more…)

Holiday Season:

This Holiday Season, CRAVE Restaurant at the Shops at West End in St. Louis Park celebrated Thanksgiving by offering free, hot meals to families needing a little extra help. Although we are traditionally closed on Thanksgiving Day, CRAVE West End opened our doors to provide a full restaurant experience with complimentary, traditional Thanksgiving meals for hundreds of individuals in need. Many CRAVE employees came with their own families to volunteer their time! In addition to the CRAVE family helping prepare and serve these delicious meals, we also had a fantastic photographer on site to capture this special day for all of our guests.


The idea is simple; we serve free, hot Thanksgiving meals to less fortunate families as part of our 5th annual CRAVE Cares initiative. This event has been remarkably successful year after year, and the personal reward of giving back to the community is immeasurable. The CRAVE team worked with nonprofits to find people who would most benefit from the dinner, and this year we served over 600 guests on Thanksgiving Day!

CRAVE has always been a longtime advocate of charities and non-profit organizations in the Twin Cities. The CRAVE Cares program has partnered up with a multitude of charities, and it has been at the core of our mission from day one. We take pride in our natural propensity to give back to our community.

“We make an effort throughout the year to provide support to the communities where our restaurants are located,” said CRAVE Owner Kam Talebi. “The Thanksgiving meal is one of our favorite events to host because it’s really about bringing people together and giving back – the entire day is very festive and welcoming.”

The participants of the Thanksgiving dinner enjoyed a traditional meal of turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, cranberries, mashed potatoes with gravy, and pumpkin pie.

We’d like to thank everyone for joining us on this special day! We look forward to creating new partnerships and continuing existing ones. Happy Holidays from all of us at CRAVE!


At CRAVE Restaurant in Omaha, we thoroughly enjoy being a part of such a great community! One way we love to reach out is by partnering up with a local non-profit each quarter as part of our CRAVE Cares program, where a portion of menu proceeds go directly to that partner.

Another way, is by hosting events for local non-profits! On October 25th, the Omaha Jaycees hosted their annual Wig Party here at CRAVE. The Omaha Jaycees is the oldest young professional organization in Omaha,
building strong community leaders since 1921. 
They put on an amazing event that allowed guests to show off their creative side by throwing on a funky wig!

This was not just your average Halloween party; this was a party with a purpose. A portion of the proceeds from the night were donated to Omaha’s own Angels Among Us. Angels Among Us is a non-profit organization that helps families that have children battling cancer in an attempt to reduce the amount of stress in their lives so that they can focus on their family. Their assistance helps families to also feel a sense of community and provides valuable resources and information for them.

We were so grateful to be a part of such a fun night, as well as grow our friendship and partnership with the Omaha Jaycees. They are are committed to improving the community and this is evident in their events that benefit so many. We can’t thank them enough for another great party and such a fun night!

If you’d like to host your next event at CRAVE Restaurant in Omaha, we have plenty of options to accomodate groups of various sizes. Call 402.871.3989 or visit our website!

Do you know what Project Elf is? It’s a program that started 3 years ago by Mickey Mikeworth and her program at www.rickchicks.org.

Project Elf is a Holiday surprise to families that have recently moved out of the homeless shelter.  We pull together a team of Elves to gather supplies and gifts and then to sneak (with the families permission) into their house on Christmas Eve and make a very special holiday delivery.

CRAVE is a proud partner of this program.

Here are a couple responses received from the recipients of this program.


OMG! When I came home that day all I could do was open my door and right off the top I felt peace and I have not EVER felt like that. I just sat on my new couch and it felt like a hug.

How deep this feels is like nothing like I have experienced before.

I still feel the love in my apartment. I mean, it leaves me in awe. I sat down at my desk and ALL the stuff I needed was here. I wrote you guys a letter to say how thankful I was and to document this crazy event. That’s when this little magnet that the elves put up caught my attention, it is a poem called Imagine a Woman. I read it and I KNEW it was MY message.  The message in that poem  – well- I have never seen a message like that. I cannot read it enough.  I felt like these people who came into my home KNEW ME.

Every little detail has been thought of and it is like being on some fancy design show or living in a hotel.

I sat on that couch in the love and peace and just pondered on how much life had changed for me. How this moment was such a blessing and how hard this life of mine has been.  I felt like my test scores came back and it said “I passed”.  I just sat there and let the tears roll out and let the world fade away for one hot minute.

I grew up in a lot group homes and had a lot of pretty awful stuff happen to me. These last few months had tested every last one of my nerves.  I was on the street and 8 months pregnant with 2 kids living out of my car. I went to an interview to get into the local shelter and I dressed my kids up and went in to see the director. They do not take everyone at the shelter and I got a chance. Before I got help with this apartment every day I was in homeless shelter fearing that I was going to be sent away -because that is how it works. If you step out of line or piss the owner off she will send you packing.  

We spent the first night in a room that smelled like urine and it was awful.  No air conditioning and it was a HOT summer and I felt sick. So sick and I started going into labor that night. Not normal labor but sick labor. Something was not right so I let the kids sleep as long as I could and in the morning I sent them with a friend and went to the hospital. I immediately went into an emergency C section and then to my horror my baby was in deep trauma and baby Christian was in a coma for 2 weeks.  

Still homeless with a new born we then went a different shelter and that place was filled with roaches. I had hit the bottom of this entire world.  Then things started working in my favor, I found some people that could help me find an apartment and a landlord that would take a chance on me because my credit is awful. I was so thankful to even get a place to live.   But even this place also had its issues. The biggest one the elves totally fixed was the urine smell in my kid’s room.  I would not even let them sleep in there. We were all sleeping in my room. Thank you elves!

I feel like my hope has been restored. I always have to worry about something and look for something, but not right now. I have everything. . I have clarity and not my battery is not on low.

The last time I had a HOME with everything – I mean everything I need – I have NEVER had a whole home. With rugs on the floor, paper in the cupboards, silverware, pots, pans, and you can keep going down the list- NEVER.  Right now I even have everything I need to make cupcakes WITH sprinkles or maybe you would like me to cook you up a ham dinner.  It is crazy round here…

Most people never have a good thing like this happen to them. I would never have imagined this life and where I am right now six months ago. I could not see this life at all. This is one of those big God talks, where you just have to listen and enjoy it.

I love the decorations, that everything is matching, and the set up and I feel like I walked into a hotel suite. Everything was in order and I keep finding gifts here and there. The laundry was amazing!  I have never had all my clothes clean at one time PLUS all my sheets and all my towels.  The kitchen was so impressive even my food looked pretty. The little simple stuff was what impressed me the most. The hallway closet was totally organized, I have been longing for this.

In a group home you never learn about home organizations or putting together a home. So the ability to SEE how a house is set up was totally informative.  I love the two tables, now we can have a table to eat on and a second table to do family games, homework, or anything we want. We can all color together and play play-doough or have a meeting at the table.  

I almost forgot about the whole Mall thing! Mike at crave was such an angel and hemade us feel so loved.  Then he gave us passes to the park and I had to check-in on my poverty thinking (would we have enough time to make it worth it? Should I save them for another day?) I knew what Mickey would say and I just let it go. We just went on having a great day. That pass was such a joy and these were the happiest kids in MOA.

I don’t know if you all understand how this entire gift brought back the innocence to my kid’s childhood. Kissi never gives hugs (and I am not a hugger) he came and over and hugged me right away. He keeps hugging me every day. He is so happy. He loves the keyboard and he has wanted to play an instrument.  Now he can now be a child again, and both he and his sister have private space to be in.  He loves to be in his room. It is like someone turned his life into a the right spot and he could wake up and be himself again.

Quan Yin was so excited and she did not know what to touch first.  The fairy wings were a hit she look at me and squealed “I can be a butterfly!” and then added “and wear a flower skirt!” She makes me re-make her bed to look like “The princess way” the way you all set it up. That was a lot of pillows by the way.

I love my bedroom and the kids already drooled on my fancy pillow. I also love the baby crib matching my bedding- that is off the hook crazy. I get in that bed and I feel like I have my “Queen” area and then the kids are the in their own prince and princess spaces. I have not slept in a bed not on a floor that I OWNDED since 2007. And I have to shout out- I LOVED THE LAPTOP!   

Sitting in a peaceful space that BELONGS TO ME, I now understand how stressful my life is. How everything I am worried about, being behind, being a bad parent, being late. It’s just gotta go.

This is apartment in finally a space worth staying in. I do not know how you did it, but my place feel so warm and I feel automatic peace when I open the door. I do not want to go anywhere; I want to just stay here. I left the table set up just that way you left it. I am not done looking at how fancy it is.  I wore my new pants and I was able to check myself out in my new mirror and I was like: “ Carmita is back!”

I have always asked God to help me find a better place and this place is a real place. I am not crying because I am sad. I am crying for joy.  What I am feeling is so deep and I keep crying in the shower so the kids don’t worry- but I just feel this so deeply.  Never before have I felt like someone had my back before.  Every little thing was thought of. I mean EVERYTHING.  

You were such a blessing. Thank you. 

Carmita and family


It’s wonderful!  It was everything I was hoping for.

I am speechless; I have everything I was wishing for and more. I did not think they could revive this space.  It smelled different- like I was living somewhere nicer. I did not think it could be done. I really thought it was impossible for this apartment to look this good.

I will admit I was anxious, I was worried that maybe these strangers would take things away, that my neighbors would get up in my business and steal my stuff, or that I would not like the changes. I was afraid to think big because it would hurt if it was a letdown.  I had to put down my fears and just say “variety is the spice of life” I had to try something new.

I knew the Elf Project was unique but I kept this to myself and did not tell people this was happening. I actually lied to the neighbors and said these people were my mom’s friends.  But I had a good feeling about the people I met I said to myself “I trust these people” and I had a feeling this was some of Gods doing. I rolled with it, uncomfortably.

This has been by far one best times of my life and for sure it was Little Anthony’s best experience.

The last time I had a Christmas that was about Me -in any way, well that has not happened since I was a little kid. Having that feeling that someone was looking out for me -I have not felt that since I was really little, probably my son’s age. That hurts a little to even admit.

Just thinking about that day puts a smile on my face. I can still see everyone waving and saying Merry Christmas, it was so nice and everyone was polite and civil, and treated us like we were somebody that was worth loving and with so much respect.  I got a great vibe from the team and I kept thinking in my head “these people are just so nice”. They were the best people I have met in a long-long time.  It was like being in a TV Movie.   I got this special feeling when I first met Peggy and I even gave her a hug. I must have been delirious, I don’t hug people. Everyone flashed me a for-real smile, not a fake smile.  I felt like I was recognized. I still feel like I was in a dream and I was king.

I have not moved a thing in the apartment.  I don’t want to screw it up and I do not want to move stuff out of place. I did not think the way they pulled it together could be better. The picture of me and my son when you walk is amazing.  When I look at that picture when I open our front door, it feels like we OWN this apartment.

These gifts were not too much and not too little. I like the shelves, and the shoe holders, and the team knew exactly what they were doing. It was just perfect. They were so precise and accurate and they were on point. It brought life into the apartment and everything had a shine and glow to it. I still have room for other stuff.

The blinds were so awful before. I can’t believe how hard these people worked on my house.  I looked at the blinds and before when I rubbed them and it would leave a fingerprint from all the nicotine and now they are actually look NEW. And how they got up to clean the top of the fan is beyond me.  The storage closet is put away all organized and you can see everything. I have been finding little surprises everyday.

The neighbors are asking to see it and I do not want to let them see it. I want to keep it all to myself and little Anthony and I want to just hang out in our special space.  I don’t feel broke in a place this nice and clean.

 I have not left the house except to go to the store since you did it. I did not even move the brownies on the table.  I put a paper towel over them to keep them moist. I just do not want to move a thing.  I like the dog statue protecting the table. Nice touch. The mirrors are gorgeous and I like the way the setting was put together, there is actual life in that gross kitchen.  These lamps look like they came out of some mansion. My mom would love these lamps.

I get compliments on how the apartment looks. Everything I did not have – I have now. I liked the telescope in the living room and to have a clean window to look through. The painted the rooms, and so much more space.  I like that we can be together in every area.

My favorite parts are Anthony’s room. It is so awesome that is my most important area.  He was really shocked and surprised. He just did not know what to say. He loved all the maps, the books, the toys, and the exploration stuff.  Even though we have so much more stuff the room looks way-way bigger. The cubby’s behind the door and the organization was incredible. It was accessible I could find all my medicine and clothes. It made this small place transformed and we can actually breathe in this space. 

Little Anthony went to visit his mom on Christmas and she called and said he wanted to come back early to be in his new room.  His room is like a play land and it is so coordinated. Everyone really took his dreams and made it a reality. It made me proud and glad I took a risk

The Crave experience was hats-off the craziest thing I have done with food in my life. The people were so gracious like I was a movie star. They said “enjoy yourself, get what you want, and don’t hold back” and then they started piling plates on our table. The kids were like off the charts crazy. It was like man vs food experience for us. I brought my son’s mom and our family had never experienced anything like that.  Add Nickelodeon on top of that. We were “in the house”. We took pictures and laughed all day.

This whole experience it makes me feel like somebody and that I was worthy and like I was part of the world and for once in my life -I felt like a human. I am a single father and getting up is not easy when you are physically hurting. Every day I promise him that I would not give up.  I am glad I hung in there.

That bike in the living room! I did not know a bike would fit in this living room. I rode that bike right away up to the store to used the money you left to get a lock for my storage locker.  The bike was adjusted right to my height and I got on it and took right off. It was made for me

I got up Christmas morning and rode that bike. I have not had a bike for at least 15 years since I was a little kid.  I like that it’s MY bike and it’s not stolen. I am not worrying when I see the police when I am on this bike because I am not on a stolen bike and hey- I got it for Christmas- it’s legit. I was like a little kid.  Amazing freedom experience all over again and I feel like a little kid in an adult’s body.  I woke up with so much energy. I rode that bike like I was not sick or out of shape. I treasure that bike it was just perfect and it felt like nothing was left to chance.   

Riding that bike was like God answered some of prayers.

I went to put my coat away in the closet when I got home to find a really nice NEW coat in my closet, and jeans, socks, shirts, and clothes just for me. I have not had NEW clothes from a NEW store in so long. I also cannot believe all the clothes for Little Anthony and they are so nice. I am also looking forward to using my crock pot and I want to use it for News Years Day.  I already cooked the ham.

I loved the greeting of hope that people left. Reading those kind words- that was when I lost it. It all just got very emotional. More than a few tears came that moment and I was glad little Anthony was already in his room.

Having this experience – It makes things a lot easier for me.  It was just something that I could not do.  I look at this apartment all day and I did not know where to begin, there was so much to do and so many things to fix. It is not easy getting up everyday taking a bus 45 minutes each way to get to my son to school and some days that is all I got in me.

Your encouragement made me feel so special and I will rub that off on him.  He is just discovering everything in his room. It is like you people took so much time to find just the right stuff, and NICE stuff. Whoever put together that little box of treasures that he can look at with his magnifying glass was so thoughtful -like we are at our own museum. Now we have all these maps, and we get to see all these things around the world.  I am hoping to get out and see some of it for real.

So, say thanks to the team and let them know that it was everything that little Anthony wanted and it was so much more for me as a person. I needed the push.  It gave me ambition. It was so nice for you all to take the time to assess how much we needed and then took the time to get to know US as people

The space is my style and I did not know I had a style, and it looks classy.

We did a lot in that one day. A day we will never forget. Thank you

All of us here at the Animal Humane Society are extremely excited to partner with CRAVE Cares this January. What a great way to kick off the New Year! By ordering from a special menu, customers will be able to enjoy CRAVE’s fresh, vibrant food while helping us care for neglected and homeless companion animals.

Animals like Soleil and Lune.

These two stray cats likely met out on the cold streets of Rosemont, MN. But what a friendship they’ve developed! When they walk, they do so side by side. When they sleep, they spoon each other. When they see each other, they touch heads. And when they are separated – they cannot bear it. That’s why, when they came into our shelter, we deemed them a bonded pair. This means that they must be adopted to the same (lucky) home.

By doing something as simple as ordering from CRAVE’s special menu, you can provide a happy life for animals just like Soleil and Lune. So eat, drink, and help make a needy animal’s life merry.

– Jon, Animal Humane Society (guest blogger)

As you well know through our CRAVE Cares program, we are a proud sponsor of many charities, including the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, the American Heart Association, Race For The Cure, and many more. Even though this month’s CRAVE Cares partner is the Salvation Army, we’d like to highlight another great cause hosting an event this month.

CRAVE Catering is proud to participate an the upcoming event to benefit the Smile Network. Yoko Ono presents ‘IMAGINE PEACE’, the artwork of John Lennon. We’re happy to offer our readers the cordial invitation to attend a VIP cocktail reception, and advanced preview and sale of the artwork of John Lennon.

The event features a silent auction of fine wines & $50,000 in additional auction items to benefit Smile Network International.


  • Thursday, December 8th from 5:00-9:00pm.


  • Please call 612-377-1800


Galleria (adjacent to Big Bowl Courtyard)
69th Street & France Avenue
Edina, MN

You can download the flyer by clicking HERE.

– T.J.

Holiday Season:

This Holiday Season the CRAVE West End location in St. Louis Park celebrated Thanksgiving by offering free hot meals to those in need. Many of the CRAVE employees came with their own families to help with the event.


The idea is simple; we serve free, hot meals to the less fortunate people down on their luck. This was our 3rd year of hosting this event and it’s been remarkably successful. We served approximately 500 people. The personal reward of giving back to the community is immeasurable.

CRAVE has always been a longtime advocate of charities in the Twin Cities. The CRAVE Cares program has partnered up with a multitude of charities and it has been at the core of our mission from day one. We take pride in our natural propensity to give back to the community.


This video from the KSTP Channel 5 website does a good job capturing the atmosphere and the good will taking place on November 24th.  They wrote a nice piece about the event. Take a minute to read it if you can.


Here’s a quote from one of the people we served that day: “Me & my family just want to say God Bless you ALL & a most gracious sincerest gratitude to the CRAVE owners/staff/volunteers & those who participated in today’s Thanksgiving dinner @ West End! We were treated w/the utmost respect & most courteous service as if we were any other paying customers! We thank you so very much for the DELICIOUS Thanksgiving meal, and we will most def be returning as paying customers! May God Bless you all & your restaurant & staff/service receives 5 stars from the T***r family! We love you CRAVE!!! Happy Holidays!!!”

– T.J.

The MOA Event:

On Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 CRAVE Mall of America location hosted a TweetUp for GiveMN.org as they launched their annual Give To The Max Day fundraiser.

GiveMN.org hosted the fundraiser from rotunda area at the Mall of America, so they were looking to partner with a restaurant inside the MOA to host the TweetUp. Considering that our CRAVE Cares Program highlights and supports local charities, it was obvious we’d make good partners.

We worked closely with Lisa Grimm from the Mall of America and Jeff Achen from GiveMN. They were both absolutely fantastic people who brought great energy and experience to the event. We had a signup on Eventbright that capped the event to 100 people. Our CRAVE MOA location provided the entire patio space, along with a free drink, free food, and a live Twitter feed on a big screen.

The Twitter Contest:

Throughout the evening we ran a Twitter contest that prompted the attendees to answer, reply or respond appropriately to our @CRAVEamerica Tweets every 15 minutes. We gave away some great prizes and numerous gift cards. We owe huge thanks to our Mall of America sponsors for donating some of these prizes, LUSH, AVEDA, and ORIGINS.

The People:

One of the best things that happens when hosting an event like this is the opportunity we have to get to know our fans and followers in person. It was a fantastic turnout and everyone was simply awesome. There were some @CRAVEamerica followers that were extra active and managed to win several items. Some of these loyal, and fantastic people include: @DanaWestern, @Amanda_l_b, @AlyWallberg, @rnikhanj, @PrincessSushi, @LyshyPop, @echristine, @SocialNicole, @FuzzyDuckTweets, @GirlScoutsRV, @MonicaBongart, and  @EyeAmLisa.

Thank you everyone for coming and showing your support for the GiveMN.org’s Give To The Max Day.

The Stats:

The GiveMN website stats:

Grand Total: $13,559,630.00

Total # of donors: 47,538

– T.J.