Blog · February 23, 2017
Gourmondo is a proud supporter of the ACLU
In February, we began to donate 10% of the proceeds of our most popular box lunch – the Roast Turkey Panini – to the ACLU of Washington in support of their work to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by our Constitution. With the help of our amazing customers, we’ve raised more than $1,000 in less than three weeks and plan to continue indefinitely.
As the nation’s premier civil rights and civil liberties organization, the ACLU is an unwavering voice of freedom, fairness and equality for all people in America. It works in the courts, the legislatures, and our communities to protect and extend basic rights for everyone and is fueled by more than 500,000 members and supporters, as well as thousands of volunteers. The ACLU takes no government funds and is entirely “people-powered,” according to the ACLU website.
Locally, a Seattle ACLU Committee was formed in 1931, led by UW student, a local lawyer, and a woman who was later to become a state senator. The group worked to secure political rights for unpopular activists, aid immigrants threatened with deportation.
As a Seattle food business that employs numerous immigrants, we know that we are stronger because of our employees. In fact, Gourmondo would not be where it is today without their tireless effort and valuable contributions. We felt it was important, as a company, to stand alongside our co-workers and to support an organization that ensures that ALL Americans – immigrant or native – are granted equal rights under the Constitution.
Our founder Alissa Leinonen is a 4th generation Seattleite. Her great-great grandmother emigrated to the United States from Italy. Her great grandfather, Dr. Xavier DeDonato, moved to Seattle and became the main physician for a growing immigrant population that settled in Pioneer Square. At times, he received payment for services rendered in goats, chickens and eggs. He accepted these gladly, knowing how difficult it was to begin a new life in a foreign country and that he was a mere generation removed from where they stood.
Alissa Leinonen and her mother, Janet DeDonato at the Seattle Women's March in January 2017
Alissa is grateful that her ancestors landed in a country where hard work and determination were rewarded with opportunity. Where basic human rights were celebrated protected. When she opened Gourmondo she did so with the vision of creating a business that offered high-quality products in an environment that supported working families. And over the last 20 years, she has created a family-like environment in which the individual is respected.
Business is business, yes. But in our business, it’s also about family. Families take care of each other and try their best to do the right thing. Supporting the ACLU of Washington is what’s right for us. Click here to join our effort.
For more information on the ACLU of Washington or to support the organization visit: www.aclu-wa.org.