Remember that pizzeria that was feeding the homeless? See what happened when you shared their story.
If you were one of many who shared this story, here's what you helped make possible.
You may recall the story of Rosa's Fresh Pizza from the first time we covered it back in March 2015.
The Philadelphia-based eatery is making sure kindness isn't just a slogan in the City of Brotherly Love. They invite customers to pay it forward by pre-purchasing $1 slices of pizza for homeless patrons.
And people happily chip in.
reading about @RosasFreshPizza Tyler for his 7/7 #Birthday decided to donate $77 to #PayItForward / @tz34652 pic.twitter.com/DxSGzbpqNc
— Steven Zimmerman (@StevesGulf_com) July 8, 2015
Our interview with Mason Wartman, owner of Rosa's, and some of his customers was viewed over 35 million times on Facebook alone.
And you, Internet, took a page out of the pay-it-forward playbook, sharing the story over 800,000 times!
Since then, Wartman says, business at Rosa's has been picking up steam.
His email update four months later had us smiling ear-to-ear:
"It has been more than three months since you posted our story on Upworthy. It's been a CRAZY past couple months, but the business is both making more money and helping WAY more people than ever before."
As of June 2015...
- Rosa's has given away more than 23,000 slices (a 130% increase in just four months!) and is providing meals free of charge to up to 100 people on any given day.
- The uptick in business means Wartman needs more employees. And true to Rosa's pay-it-forward spirit, he's hiring through agencies that connect homeless folks with jobs.
- And they've even started selling official Rosa's apparel, which features designs by homeless artists. Half of all the revenue goes right back to supporting Philly's homeless community through pay-it-forward pizza. So far, T-shirt sales have funded a full 10% of donated slices.
That's why theirs is a story worth sharing over and over again.
Not only does it generate more attention for this really great program (which in turn generates more food for the homeless), but it sends a powerful and unexpected message:
Business can thrive on kindness.
If this is the first time you're hearing about Rosa's, check out our interview with Wartman. And of course, pay it forward and pass it on.