Milwaukee area charities receive grants from Cousins Subs Make It Better Foundation

The Cousins Subs® Make It Better Foundation has awarded $4,000 to three local charities—Hope Center of Waukesha, the Severson Sisters – Super Girl Program of Menomonee Falls and the Friends of Saint Catherine Residence of Milwaukee.


The Hope Center was awarded a $1,000 grant to support the organization’s clothing shop efforts. The center aims to provide up to 10 free articles of clothing per month to each person in need. Although almost all of the clothing the Hope Center distributes is gently used, donations of new socks and underwear are always needed. This grant will help the Hope Center provide enough socks and underwear for those it serves for up to four weeks.


“This grant will allow us to provide new socks and underwear for our guests who have a need for themselves or their family members,” said Ralph Zick, executive director of the Hope Center. “More than 5,500 guests are served each year at the Hope Center and at no cost to them.”

Milwaukee area charities receive grants from Cousins Subs Make It Better Foundation

Photo caption: Men’s section of the clothing shop at Hope Center.


The Severson Sisters – Super Girl Program helps girls in third through eighth grade connect to their “inner super girl.” The program gives girls self-esteem enhancing tools, tips on how to develop and maintain healthy relationships with their peers and action plans on how to handle bullying situations in life that match their own personalities. The goal of the organization is to help girls become confident women who will lead their communities. This grant will help pay the fees for the program, a fee waiver for youth identified as high risk and financially unable to afford the program cost and program curriculum for 40 girls.


“I am so thankful for the generous donation to our program from the Make It Better Foundation,” said Lisa Mackey, facilitator of the Super Girl Program. “These funds will help young girls in our community create their own action plan for a safe and fabulous place in the world while gaining self-esteem, fostering healthy friendships and developing anti-bullying strategies.”

Milwaukee area charities receive grants from Cousins Subs Make It Better Foundation

Photo caption: A group of mothers and their daughters attend a workshop at Just Kiln’ Time Pottery Shop in Menomonee Falls, Wis.


The Friends of Saint Catherine Residence serves high risk, low-income women and their babies by providing them with safe, affordable and supportive housing and a kitchen where they can prepare their own meals. This grant will help the organization fund improvements to its kitchen, including new hoods for two stove top ranges, new microwave ovens, and new floor and counter tiles.


“The Friends of St. Catherine Residence is extremely pleased about the grant we have received from the Cousins Subs’ Make It Better Foundation,” said Rita Larsen, president of Saint Catherine’s Residence. “These funds will add a great deal of value to our current food preparation environment and those who use it.”

Milwaukee area charities receive grants from Cousins Subs Make It Better Foundation

Photo caption (from left to right): Sherrilee Freeman and Belinda Prude, residents of St. Catherine Residence, enjoying Cousins Subs in the Residence kitchen.


Each grant is funded through Cousins Subs’ Make It Better Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization established in 2013. The Make It Better Foundation aims to improve the general welfare and quality of life in the communities Cousins Subs serves and addresses three areas of interest that are vital to any community: health and wellness, hunger and youth education.


“We selected these deserving organizations as the recipients of our grants due to their dedication to improving the welfare of the citizens in their communities,” said Christine Specht-Palmert, president and COO at Cousins Subs.


Interested nonprofit and community organizations can visit to find out more information on eligibility and how to apply.



Cousins Subs® and its franchisees operate more than 120 sub sandwich shops in three states, with bold expansion plans. The first Cousins Subs was established in Milwaukee in 1972 by Bill Specht and his cousin. Their dream was to bring East Coast-style sub sandwiches to Milwaukee – with their own deli fresh touch. They started with their bread, developing a secret recipe with the perfect taste and crunch. That bread is the cornerstone of the Cousins Subs slogan, “Better Bread. Better Subs.” The original recipe is still closely followed at every Cousins Subs restaurant, where each sandwich is made to order using freshly sliced deli meats, cheeses, and vegetables – and the bread is baked fresh each day. Forty-two years later and still family owned, Cousins Subs employees and franchisees are driven by their mission to “Make it a Better Day” in all they do. In 2013, the brand proudly announced the establishment of the Make it Better Foundation, dedicated to funding causes that address health and wellness, hunger and youth education in the communities that Cousins Subs serves. For more information, visit You can also find Cousins Subs on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.