|Type||501(c)(3) private foundation|
|Robert Skelton, Executive Director
Dan T. Cathy, President
|$26.1 million (2010)|
|2010 Grants and Contributions|
|Fellowship of Christian Athletes||$480,000|
|Marriage & Family Foundation||$1,188,380|
|National Christian Foundation||$247,500|
|Atlanta Fest Foundation||$65,000|
|Family Research Council||$1,000|
|Helping Hands Ministries Inc||$30,000|
|National Institute of Marriage||$37,000|
|The Hideaway Foundation||$25,000|
|Care for AIDS||$1,000|
|Center for Relational Care||$9,895|
|Georgia Family Council||$2,500|
|Georgia Public Policy Foundation||$1,000|
|Heritage Christian Church||$7,500|
|Leadership Development Intl.||$10,000|
|Lifegate Counseling Center||$1,000|
|Paulding Pregnancy Services||$1,000|
|Resurrection Lutheran Church||$2,500|
|New Mexico Christian Foundation||$54,000|
The WinShape Foundation is an American charitable organization founded in 1984 by Jeanette Cathy and Truett Cathy, founder of fast-food restaurant chain Chick-fil-A. WinShape's sister foundation, Lifeshape, was started by the Cathy's daughter and husband, Trudy and John White.
After its 1983 school year, Berry College (1902–present) closed its affiliated middle and high school operations at their financially struggling Berry Academy, forming the WinShape Foundation in 1984. As a separate non-profit foundation WinShape focused on a small college scholarship program housed in the former Berry Academy buildings. Subsequently a boys and girls summer camp were each added and foundation programs expanded to include foster homes, a challenge/ropes course, corporate and marriage retreats, and United States as well as global mission trips.
In 2007, the Foundation spent $18 million on the projects it supports, which include college scholarships, a network of foster homes and camps, and programs for marriage counseling.
The WinShape scholarship currently provides students at Berry College $8,000 yearly – funded jointly by WinShape and Berry College. These funds replace the first $8,000 of any academic scholarships offered by the college and require a special application and interview process. The program originated with only several dozen students and offered a total of $10,000 over four years. Today, WinShape currently has over 400 college students enrolled per year, with over 800 alumni in just over 20 years.
The requirement details of the scholarship program have varied since its inception. Eligibility originally required current Chick-fil-A employment, high achievement and community involvement in high school, and a willingness to sign a contract including Christianity-based rules. Employment by Chick-fil-A is no longer a requirement, but the Christian-based nature of WinShape is perhaps stronger today than ever; the current contract specifies weekly meeting attendance, leadership discussion group participation, community service, and a Fundamentalist Christian lifestyle, including abstaining from alcohol and drugs. Beginning in 2006, freshmen and transfer students were required to attend a week-long orientation camp known as FreshThing.
As of 2009, the foundation had awarded 951 Berry College scholarships with a maximum of $32,000 per student.
After inception of the College Program in 1984, and wanting its campus to be used also during summer months, Cathy co-founded a summer camp (1985) for boys and girls (1987) on the Mountain Campus of Berry College (Mt. Berry) with Rick Johnson who had previously worked at North Carolina's Camp Ridgecrest, where Cathy's children had earlier attended. Modeled after Ridgcrest, the new camp was designed as a sports camp with a Christian emphasis using Native American themes to structure achievement. Age groups are organized into "tribes." The boys' camp tribes include Apache (rising 2nd–4th grade), Shawnee (rising 5th–6th grade), Choctaw (rising 7th–8th grade), Navajo (rising 9th–12th grade), and Sioux (the adventure program, rising 10th–12th grade). The girls' camp tribes include Chippewa (rising 2nd–4th grade), Chickasaw (rising 5th–6th grade), Cheyenne (rising 7th–8th grade), Cherokee (rising 9th–10th grade), Catawba (rising 11th–12th grade), and Creek (the adventure program, rising 12th grade). Campers also can be awarded for Christian character and leadership. Those selected complete a challenge. The challenge consists of Scripture memorization, a run, starting a fire, building a lean-to, serving around camp, writing an essay, and completing a talking ban. At Boy's Camp, those selected who do not complete the challenge are called "Bucks," and those who do complete the challenge are called "Little Chiefs." At Girl's Camp, those selected are called "Comanches." Comanches who complete the challenge are called "Black Comanches," and those who do not complete the challenge are called "White Comanches."
In 2011, WinShape began a one-week girls camp at Young Harris College in Young Harris, Georgia. This camp consists of three clubs: Skocean, Bumbline, and Royalum. The camp is divided into junior camp (rising 2nd-6th grade) and senior camp (rising 7th-9th grade).
In 2015, WinShape began a one-week boys camp at Truett-McConnell College. This camp consists of three squads: Blaze, Hydro, and Quake.
In 2016, WinShape began a one-week high school girls camp at Cohutta Springs. This camp consists of four legacies: Oak, Aspen, Willow, and Spruce.
Camps for Communities
As well as hosting overnight camps, Winshape also travels to churches and other sites to give a 1 week Day Camp for grades 1-9. Campers are separated into Ocean (1st and 2nd Grade), Safari (3rd and 4th Grade), Alpine (5th and 6th Grade), and Galaxy (7th, 8th, and 9th Grade).
The Ocean, Safari, and Alpine Groups can choose 3 skills from 22 options (2 of which are exclusive for Alpine Campers). Along with the skills throughout the day, campers also go to 2 small group worship sessions, 3 worship/activity sessions and a competition called Connectration where they compete all week to earn tokens which can earn them a head start in Triangulation. Finally on Chick-fil-a Friday Family Fun Day, they go for half a day to worship, play triangulation, and eat chick-fil-a (provided by Chick-fil-as in that area).
Galaxy Campers (new for 2016) get to enjoy a more mature experience that goes deeper into faith without losing the fun. They go to 1 of the 3 worship/activity sessions in the morning called Wake Up! Where they have about 3 minutes to tell the younger campers what they will do that day. They also participate in the games that the younger campers play in to win tokens. The Galaxy Campers donate any tokens they receive to the younger group of their choice. Then they go to a number of activities including Main Events, Life Skills, Options (where they can choose from one of two skills and get a mini course of the skill), and a more mature worship session that goes deeper in their faith along with gender specific small groups and worship stations. Finally on Chick-fil-a Friday Family Fun Day, Galaxy has a similar day to the younger campers. During Triangulation, Galaxy is drafted into the three younger groups to help them win.
In 2017, WinShape Camps for Communities at Cobb is being launched. At Mt. Bethel UMC North Campus, WinShape will operate several sessions of a one-week day camp program that will remain at Mt. Bethel North the entire summer.
After 25 years of sponsoring camp programs in the United States, in 2009 WinShape Camps started Camp in Brasília, Brazil. In 2010, WinShape Camps went back to Brazil to do week-long day camps around the capital city.
S. Truett Cathy began a foster home in 1987 near the WinShape Centre on Berry College’s campus. It was designed to provide a home for up to twelve children with full-time parents to take care of them. To date, WinShape operates 13 homes for children who are simply victims of circumstance. There are 9 homes in Georgia, 3 in Tennessee, and one in Alabama. A Transitional Living Home has also been opened outside of Rome, Georgia to help young adults, from the program, transition successfully from high school to independence.
WinShape Center is located near the hilltop campus of Berry College and more specifically at the adjacent former middle and high school campus of the Berry Academy. Once owned by Martha Berry, the site had once been home to a dairy farm with buildings originally constructed in the architectural style of Normandy, France. After founding WinShape, the academy buildings were remodeled and new buildings were added to create the resort. The new retreat center hosts meetings and fund raising events, with over 8000 guests annually. Donald (a.k.a. Bubba) and Cindy Cathy conduct marriage counseling programs at the center, aimed at those with healthy marriages to those actively considering divorce.
Started in 1991, WinShape Wilderness uses various techniques such as field games and ropes courses to encourage team-building and help organizations and groups work through issues and experience an improved sense of community.
WinShape International is an organization that inspires Chick-fil-A operators and other leaders in the Chick-fil-A community to support leadership programs for young people globally. WinShape International uses Chick-fil-A’s SERVE model of leadership as a platform to help train young people to become servant-focused leaders.
Since 2003, WinShape has donated over $5 million to allegedly anti-gay groups, including Eagle Forum, Focus on the Family, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Family Research Council, Exodus International, and the Marriage & Family Legacy Fund, groups which seek to provide, among other works, an anti-gay interpretation of biblical teachings about marriage and sexuality. Approximately $2 million was given in 2009 and almost the same amount in 2010. WinShape's financial support of these groups has caused gay-rights advocates to denounce Chick-fil-A and protest against its restaurants and products on various college and university campuses including Northeastern University and NYU. Northeastern University's Student Senate voted on February 28, 2012 to cancel plans for an on-campus Chick-Fil-A restaurant and an online petition against the NYU franchise was also launched that same month.
Chick-fil-A released a statement in July 2012: "Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena." In March 2014, tax filings for 2012 showed the group stopped funding all but one organization which had been previously criticized, WinShape Marriage, with a stated focus on couple retreats to strengthen marriages.
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