Autism’s Unlikely Fundraiser Sets Record


White Castle Cravers and team members raised more than $650,000 for Autism Speaks this spring by selling puzzle pieces in 400 restaurants in 12 states. The Castle Shares program continued its philanthropic commitment with a campaign that ran from April 1 through May 3, 2014. White Castle set a fundraising campaign record for the fifth straight year. By purchasing an Autism Speaks Puzzle Piece for $1$3 or $5, Cravers supported the nation’s largest research and advocacy organization for autism.

“We’re excited that our Cravers and team members strongly supported the puzzle piece campaign again this year,”  said Erin Shannon, corporate relations manager at White Castle and fourth generation family member. “The result of reaching our campaign goal again in 2014 allows White Castle to make a large donation to an organization that we firmly believe in.”

White Castle Scented Candle

Original Slider-scented candle

Since 2010, the limited-edition Original Slider-scented candle, designed by Laura Slatkin, has garnered great support from Craver Nation with more than 10,000 candles sold, raising more than $100,000.

In the past five years, White Castle has donated more than $3 million to Autism Speaks primarily one dollar at a time from customer donations as part of the puzzle piece campaign and the sales of the steam-grilled-on-a-bed-of-onions Original Slider® candle.

Autism Speaks is the nation’s largest advocacy organization benefiting autism research. Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show the prevalence of autism in the U.S. has risen to an estimated 1 in 68 children. This new estimate is roughly 30 percent higher than the estimate for 2008 (1 in 88). The number for boys diagnosed with autism also has increased to 1 in 42. It was previously 1 in 54 boys. Scientists have yet to determine a definitive cause for autism.