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P. Terry's donates $40,120 to Season for Caring

Nicole Villalpando
Austin American-Statesman
Employee Chris Ponce hands a carton of drinks to a customer while at P. Terry's Burger Stand on East Oltorf Street on Saturday. The restaurant's 18 locations donated that day's profits to the Statesman's Season for Caring program.

The drive-thru lines were full most of the day Saturday at P. Terry's Burger Stand's 18 locations. Inside people waited in line to get their burgers, fries and a milkshake, fulfilling the vision co-founder Patrick Terry had when he began the local burger chain with one restaurant 15 years ago.

The day also fulfilled the vision of co-founder Kathy Terry: to use the restaurant to support the community. Four times a year, P. Terry's gives all the profits to a local charity as part of its Giving Back Day program.

More:Stop by P. Terry's Saturday to support Season for Caring

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On Saturday, P. Terry's and its spinoff Taco Ranch donated all their profits to the Statesman Season for Caring program.

Central Texans dining at P. Terry's raised $40,120 for Season for Caring, making the total the restaurant has given to Season for Caring since 2009 $313,347 and $1.198 million to all community organizations.

Because of the pandemic, "we were unsure what would happen this year," Kathy Terry said.

"Central Texans came through for Season for Caring," Patrick Terry said.

It was the busiest day for the company since the coronavirus pandemic, when it has had to shift the way it does things from workers wearing gloves to contactless payment and delivery of food.

"We're fortunate to be drive-thru, which has kept us alive throughout this year," Patrick Terry said.

At times this year, it has had to close the dining rooms or limit their capacity. It had to close its one restaurant without a drive-thru. Even with those obstacles, P. Terry's still held its four Giving Back Days to help local nonprofit organizations. It just shifted its spring Giving Back Day to fall. 

This year, P. Terry's chose nonprofits Seedling Mentor Program, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Travis County Inc., Health Alliance for Austin Musicians and Statesman Season for Caring. 

A line forms outside of the P. Terry's on East Oltorf Street on Saturday. The restaurant gave a day's profits at all of its locations to Season for Caring.

Season for Caring each year highlights the needs of 12 Central Texas families nominated by local nonprofit organizations. The organizations use the money donated to help the featured families first and then help hundreds of other families throughout the year with basic needs such as rent, utilities, food, clothing, transportation and medical care.

"We are so fortunate we can be a part of this," Kathy Terry said.

"The program puts a stronger light on people's real needs," Patrick Terry said. "Central Texans are hurting." 

"You can't forget there are families that make a choice every day of what basic need to forgo to survive," Kathy Terry said. "A lot of us can't comprehend making that choice. We take for granted basic needs."

This year, Season for Caring is helping Nelly Aguilar and her four children after her husband was deported this spring; Albert Byishimo, who came to the United States in 2019 with his wife and children after living for more than a decade in a refugee camp in Burundi; and Jessica Molina, a Pflugerville teacher who lost her husband and the father of her four children in August to kidney cancer.

"When I read the stories, I create a human connection," Kathy Terry said. That connection and reading about everything they go through and the ways in which they are helped by Season for Caring creates a sense of gratitude and hopefulness, she said.

In January, P. Terry's will name its 2021 Giving Back Days recipients.

P. Terry's is continuing to expand, with a New Braunfels restaurant opening on Wednesday, one in Pflugerville opening in January, and an expansion to San Antonio expected in summer. 

Jose Rivera, left, and Johanna Marquez wait for their food while at P. Terry's Burger Stand located on East Oltorf Street in Austin on Saturday.
Arden French, left, and Allen Demling eat their meals outside while at P. Terry's on Saturday.
Statesman Season for Caring

Statesman Season for Caring

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Through Christmas Day, the Sheth family will match monetary donations up to $250,000. 

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