PHOENIX — Editor's note: Jersey Mike's is a sponsor of ABC15's "We're Open, Arizona" franchise.
Each year, Jersey Mike's has its "Jersey Mike's Day of Giving" where 100 percent of its sales are donated to more than 200 charities around the country, including Phoenix Children's hospital in Arizona.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing guidelines, the yearly event was canceled. But, that does not mean Jersey Mike's isn't still helping out our local hospital.
Instead, they've been donating subs and meals to the doctors and nurses at hospitals around the Valley, including Phoenix Children's, Arizona General Hospital, University Medical Center, and Abrazo Health.
"Currently, it's really important for us to do that, to give back to everybody," said Shelbie Lewis, district manager for Jersey Mike's.
"We're taking care of the firefighters, the police departments, the nurses, the doctors, and doing a little bit extra for them so they're taken care of," she later said.
Andrew Sigler, who works for the Phoenix Children's Hospital Foundation, said at least 700 meals had been donated so far.
"A sandwich might not seem like a lot. But it's a really challenging time for our employees, for our staff, for the physical therapy department, teachers in our school, our doctors, our nurses. It's just a whole new world for them right now. So, everything helps," he said. "It absolutely boosts their spirits which I think is really important right now. But, I think it's important to remember as well that the spouses or significant others of our front-line workers may be out of work. They may be laid off or furloughed, or not employed. So, there's also a financial benefit as well."
Sigler said Jersey Mike's annual event typically brought in $200,000 for the hospital.
"So, that changed this year. So, for them to still be looking for ways to support our hospital truly means the world to us," he said.
Because of the pandemic, the sandwich chain has had to make some adjustments to its operations. The lobby is closed, they have social distancing markers on the floor, and are encouraging people to order meals through their app for curbside pickup or delivery.
The menu remains the same.
Over at Phoenix Children's, Sigler said the hospital is going its part to help the community as well. One example was that Phoenix Children's has been accepting patients from other hospitals to make room for those who need to be treated for COVID-19 symptoms.
"The message to the community is we're here. We're open. Come visit us. Be safe. Be Smart. We want make sure we get through this. We want everybody to get through this," Shelbie, of Jersey Mike's, said.
IF YOU GO:
We're Open, Arizona: We know this is a tough time for a lot of people in our community, including local restaurants and businesses. As local spots continue to serve takeout, look for ways to safely do business, and give back to our community, we want to share their stories. Visit abc15.com/open or email us at OpenInAZ@abc15.com.