A franchise owner opens his wallet—and heart—to help his community.
Here’s a look at how one person’s willingness to step up can
benefit your town, too.
A recipe for success that focuses on fun.
That’s the theme of Reed Mattingly’s community service activities
in Columbia, South Carolina. When
Mattingly opened his first Rainbow International franchise in 2009 (he now owns three), he didn’t simply want to run a business.
He contacted Ronald McDonald House and offered his expertise.
The result? The annual “spring fling cleaning” that brings
together volunteers who provide painting, repairing, power-washing and
landscaping services. The local Ronald McDonald House serves 350 families
annually. Mattingly wants to ensure that loved ones of children undergoing
cancer treatments have a pleasing, restful environment.
His goodwill hasn’t stopped with the local Ronald McDonald House,
which is near
Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. Mattingly’s volunteerism with the Palmetto Health Foundation Board
sparked the idea for the annual Rainbow International Charity Golf Classic
“We hold an annual charity golf tournament to help young moms fighting
late-stage cancer,” Mattingly says. “Our committee picks three
ladies; most have very young children. The medical bills are crushing
so the money helps,” he says. The event began with one family in
2010. To date, 14 families have received a total of more than $240,000.
“Giving the money is important,” he says, “but what’s
better is the lasting positive feelings from the community that we are
all fighting this thing together.”
time for beneficiaries
The posh event “rolls out the red carpet for the families,”
Mattingly says. “Each family has an unlimited number of golf carts,
so they ride around the course. There are sponsors, tents with a massage
therapist, food and drinks, and pictures with the kids goofing around
that we post on
Facebook. It’s amazing.”
Mattingly says the tournament—which sells out every year—is
a “great, uplifting experience,” one with lasting effects.
Although in many cases the patients lose their battle with cancer, “we
can keep in touch with the families, and they come back the next year
to support others,” he says.
The overflow of business success
How does Mattingly rally support from his 30 employees?
“As a team, their day-to-day work affords us the wherewithal to raise
money in the community,” he says. “From the support of technicians,
accounting and sales, you string it all together, and we’re a successful
organization. That’s why I love being a franchise owner. If you
follow the system, it allows you to do the things that are important to
make a difference in people’s lives.”
Staffers tell Mattingly that the charitable work is one of the most meaningful
things they do all year. They are proud to give back, he says.
Mattingly says other franchisees can replicate that altruism. “You
may not be close to a Ronald McDonald House, but you can explore [holding]
a golf tournament or something else. Franchise owners can be the mechanism
to show support for their community,” he says. “Right now,
for us, it’s children’s hospitals, so that’s what we’ll
Other franchisees have asked Mattingly how they can do something similar.
“If you don’t know where to start,” he says, “write
down one sentence about your passion and what you want to do.” The
only requirement is that “you call someone who has already done
it” and get their recipe for success, Mattingly says.
Reflecting on his contributions, he says: “When I’m old and
sitting in a rocking chair thinking of all the things I’ve done
wrong—and right—in life, I’d like to think I’ve
made a difference in the lives of these kids. It’s a big deal.”