Philadelphia Restaurateur Launches ‘Spread the Love’ Campaign

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Yearlong effort focused on fulfilling over 200 random acts of kindness throughout 2012

“The purpose of ‘Spread the Love’ is to bring hope to those who are struggling during the harsh economic climate and restore the belief in the innate goodness of mankind, year round.”

A young mother stands in line at the supermarket, worrying about how she will make it to her next paycheck. It’s an everyday story - one that plays out in an endless number of scenarios in every city. Philadelphia restaurateur Keven Parker has devised a way to affect its outcome, even if only slightly. Parker has launched the yearlong ‘Spread the Love’ Campaign, comprised of monthly random acts of kindness throughout the city of Philadelphia.

On the fourth Monday of every month, Parker and members of his restaurant, Ms. Tootsie’s Restaurant Bar Lounge, hop aboard the ‘Spread the Love’ Bus and seek out individuals who stand in need of a helping hand. The team makes stops at various businesses, grocery stores, utility billing offices, schools and community events to carry out a sincere act of kindness - whether it’s covering the cost for the senior citizen who can’t afford all of his food items at the grocery store, repairing a car, or assisting the family who is a few months behind in paying their electric bill.

In addition to these Bus stops, Ms. Tootsie’s Restaurant Bar Lounge solicits the stories of individuals who stand in need. Via comment cards provided at Ms. Tootsie’s, the community sends in stories of individuals who need some form of assistance. Once a week, Parker and Ms. Tootsie’s team members choose one person’s story and fulfills their need accordingly, no matter the size of ask!

To date, Parker and the Ms. Tootsie’s team have covered the monthly grocery bill for 2 senior citizens and 5 families, paid the monthly electric bill for a family of 3 and a family of 8, sent an elderly couple (aged 91 and 94) for a night out on the town, purchased a new wardrobe for 2 ladies transitioning from welfare to the workforce, and treated a group of city employees in line at a lunch truck, to a free meal.

“I’ve always been compelled to give back to my community, not just during the holidays or in special seasons; rather 365 days of the year,” says Parker. “The purpose of ‘Spread the Love’ is to bring hope to those who are struggling during the harsh economic climate and restore the belief in the innate goodness of mankind, year round.”

To learn more about the ‘Spread the Love’ campaign, visit http://www.mstootsiesrbl.com/spreadthelove.

About Keven Parker & Ms. Tootsie’s Restaurant Bar Lounge
“The Sultan of South Street” as declared by Philadelphia Magazine, Keven Parker is one of Philadelphia's great personalities and most forward thinking visionaries. From humble beginnings but strong roots, Parker grew up in West Philadelphia. Today, as an accomplished businessman, Parker oversees five distinct entities under The Keven Parker Company: Simply Delicious Caterers, Cafe 3801, Ms. Tootsie's Restaurant Bar Lounge, and KDP Lifestyle and Luxury Suites.

Through all of his hard work and success, Parker is committed to giving back to his community. Along with employing a little over 30 individuals, The Keven Parker Company community outreach includes the Youth and Young Adult Division, which gives young men and women the opportunity to gain valuable skills not only in the food service industry, but in a success-driven environment. To date, more than 30 scholarships have been awarded to young adults forwarding their educations. So far, 15 proud graduates have completed their studies with the help of The Keven Parker Company. Additionally, Parker's Living Waters community outreach program benefits hundreds of local organizations through food and financial donations.

To learn more about Keven Parker, visit http://www.kevenparker.net.

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Megan Smith
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