2021: Our Year of Giving Back

In many ways, 2021 felt like a repeat of 2020 — a year of uncertainty and unprecedented change in how we live our daily lives. Our friends, families and communities have all been affected in some way by the continued impacts of COVID-19. Amidst the chaos and uncertainty, however, there has been a constant; the tireless dedication of those who work so hard to support those in need, despite the challenges.

Although COVID impacted the ways in which we typically have supported our communities, we have partnered with many wonderful organizations in a variety of ongoing programs, and you — our customers — have made it possible for us to maximize support of many deserving recipients doing important work.

Seasonal Special Donations

In Massachusetts, we continued our ongoing partnership with Cooking Matters MA – an organization which helps connect families with affordable and nutritious meal options. “Cooking Matters is helping end childhood hunger by inspiring families to make healthy, affordable food choices. [Their] programs teach parents and caregivers with limited food budgets to shop for and cook healthy meals.” $1 of each monthly special pie sold from our Massachusetts locations goes to Cooking Matters MA. This year, we have donated over $11,000 directly to the organization.

In Maine, we continued to work with Full Plates Full Potential as one of their FEED Kids partners. Full Plates, Full Potential is an organization dedicated to ending child hunger in Maine. “[Their] work focuses on increasing participation in school breakfast, after school meals, and summer meal programs.” We’ve donated $1 of each monthly special sold from our Maine locations to Full Plates Full Potential since March. This has allowed us to donate over $12,000 directly to the organization.

Feeding the Frontline

Another group that’s been severely strained by this pandemic is healthcare workers. They have gone through extraordinary efforts to heal and protect their patients and our communities, working tirelessly around the clock dealing with scenarios that many of us cannot imagine. In April of 2020, we began our Feeding the Frontline initiative – a donation-based framework that supports both restaurants and frontline workers during the COVID-19 crisis by turning customer donations into nourishment for healthcare workers throughout Maine and Massachusetts.

In 2021, we received over $75,000 in customer donations that we’ve turned into countless orders, feeding thousands of healthcare workers and first responders ($125,000 in donations have been received since May 2020, the start of the initiative). We are both amazed and extremely humbled by the support we’ve received, and can tell you first hand how appreciative our healthcare heroes have been to benefit from this program. Below are a few of the facilities we’ve made deliveries to as a part of this initiative:

  • Maine Medical Center
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Maine General Hospital
  • Brigham & Women’s Hospital
  • Boston Medical Center
  • Salem Hospital
  • St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center
  • Carney Hospital
  • Maine Cancer Center
  • Mid Coast Hospital
  • Mount Auburn Hospital
  • Mercy Hospital
  • US Coast Guard
  • Preble Street
  • Good Shepherd Food Bank
  • Various vaccine sites throughout Maine and Massachusetts

Tips For Kids

In 2020, a new initiative was started at our Southie location in which all tips are donated to a deserving local charity. This initiative has since grown to include our South End and Beverly locations.

In 2021, customers of these locations have made the following donations possible:

With all of that said, we owe a huge thanks to our customers. The programs and initiatives above would not be possible without your support. While many of us continued to spend much of the year in relative isolation, the power of community has never been more evident. As we reflect on this difficult year, we are incredibly thankful for our staff, our customers, our partners and our communities. We wish each of you a healthy and happy holiday season, and look forward to seeing your smiling faces in the new year.

OTTO South Boston’s ‘Tips for Kids’ program raises funds for local children’s organizations

Giving back has always been part of OTTO’s DNA since day one. When OTTO Southie (416 W Broadway) opened, the business model was designed to pay above average wages so that all tips could be donated to local youth-focused charities.

As a result, OTTO Southie has raised over $72,000 since March 2020.

Donation recipients include:
* South Boston Community Health Center’s Youth Ambassadors Program (YAP), a South Boston resource for teens to explore the realms of health, art, and community service.

* Condon Community Center, enhancing the quality of life for Boston’s residents by supporting children, youth and families through a wide range of programs and services.

* Edgerley Family Boys and Girls Club of South Boston, helping young people reach their full potential by providing a safe haven filled with hope and opportunity.

OTTO Southie will be featuring a different organization each quarter.

We owe a ton of thanks to the OTTO Southie staff and the generosity of our customers for making these donations possible. We know that, now more than ever, charities and community organizations need additional support to continue offering the services they provide. We’re grateful that OTTO Southie has been in a position to help, and we hope to continue this tradition through 2021 and beyond.

Condon Community Center
Southern Boston Community Health Center’s Young Ambassador Program