Tanya Vargas in action at the Papa John’s in Pasco, WA.

Giving back to the community is more than checking a box—it is at the center of what we do as representatives of the Papa John’s brand and members of the Kennewick, Pasco and Richland, WA communities. It is my team’s mission to make the Tri-Cities better—one pizza at a time. 

During my first year as general manager at Papa John’s in Pasco, I learned quickly that service is core to what our brand represents. Our franchise owner, Preston House, has made this his priority over the course of my time here. Since 2010, his four stores in the Tri-Cities have supported over 50 nonprofits in the community—from the Salvation Army and Junior Achievement, to local schools and food banks—with sponsorships, donations and support.

Preston is passionate about encouraging team members to use our time to volunteer. This year, he initiated a quarterly day of service where team members voted on and volunteered with a local nonprofit for a day. So far, we’ve worked with the Humane Society and Second Harvest Food, and are continuing to look for other opportunities to make a difference.

After volunteering with Second Harvest Food last quarter, I was inspired to do more. I started putting my weekly tips into a mason jar that I could donate to community service initiatives. What started as just me donating my weekly tips, grew into my entire team offering up their tips as well. After two weeks, we raised over $80 and purchased coats, jackets and gloves to donate to a local women’s shelter.

Working for a company that values contributing to the social good of the communities we serve is incredibly important to me, and I feel thankful that I’ve found that at Papa John’s. I have a great team that lives our “Doing Better” ethos every day, working together to put the needs of others first.