From small towns to urban hubs, the Hershey’s brand is on a mission to warm the hearts of Americans. On September 13, Milton Hershey’s 161st birthday, Hershey employees are taking a break from the office and taking to the streets – of their neighbourhoods, communities and workplaces – with the simple act of sharing Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars.
Inspiration came from not only Milton Hershey, who believed chocolate can bring people together, but also from others who are using Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars to create positive connections and bring their communities closer together.
Kind acts can be found in all corners of the country, and Hershey’s uncovered these special stories and partnered with the individuals who are making a difference:
- In Long Grove, IA, a 93 year-old man named Bob Williams has made it his mission to greet neighbours with a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar for more than two decades. Whether he’s standing in line at the convenience store or stopping by the bank, Williams knows that just the act of sharing chocolate can bridge the distance and make people feel good. To date, he has given out nearly 6,000 XL Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars to his community.
- In New Brunswick, NJ, a best friend duo wanted to bring a few smiles to their fellow peers at the start of the new semester. To do so, they stocked up on Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars, attached notes and gave them out around campus. Now, the pair – Mustafa Hussain and Ahmad Atieh – are known for their simple gestures that bring people just a little bit closer through Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars.
- In Newville, PA, the student council at Big Spring High School banded together to hand out chocolate Kisses during finals last semester. This year, the students welcomed new faces with Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars, inspiring others to partake in their own random acts of kindness at the start of a new school year.
- In Brooklyn Park, MN, the Brooklyn Park Police Department shared Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars to bring cheer to their community. Officers have continued to provide recipients with exciting surprises to show community members just how paying it forward can impact a town.
“When we discovered these stories, we were reminded of what Milton Hershey knew long ago – that we could bring people closer together through the simple gift of our chocolate,” said Chuck Raup, vice president/general manager chocolate, The Hershey Company. “By the end of the day, our employees will have shared thousands of chocolate bars. Our actions on this day will pay homage to our founder, Milton Hershey and people like Bob Williams that allow us to… melt the distance between us.”
Nearly every neighbourhood in America has been experiencing a growing disconnect, creating a cooling effect among Americans. In fact, Pew Research Center surveys suggest that every year, Americans connect less with their neighbours. Armed with a dozen Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars, Hershey employees will start to spark positivity across the country and bring a little warmth back to our communities.
“We’ve all experienced this growing disconnect. We often see our neighbours every day without even knowing their names,” Raup said. “We know it’s the simple things that can bring us together. That is why we are beginning to break down the walls between us and warm-up our neighbourhoods, one bar at a time.”
Today is a new chapter in Hershey’s legacy. Hershey’s is not only committed to warming hearts, but continuing to inspire others with the same simple act of giving a chocolate bar to melt the distance between us, each and every day. Beginning September 14, a new campaign will make its way to the world, offering inspiration through stories like Mr. Williams from Iowa and the student council of Big Springs High School– reminding everyone that a chocolate bar brings a smile to nearly everyone’s face.
In honour of the man who founded The Hershey Company and brought us the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar, the company has created the “Heartwarming Project,” an initiative dedicated to helping kids and families build meaningful social connections.
“It’s clear the world needs chocolate now, more than ever. So we’re warming hearts with a simple smile, hello and, of course, chocolate.” Raup said.