Brooklyn staple Vinnie's Pizzeria is known for their inventive (and occasionally viral) slices and whimsical whiteboards. This week, they channeled their gift for speciality pies to help raise money for organizations aiding separated families at the U.S. border.
"We are living in an age where everyone feels helpless, but there is always something you can do however little," owner Sean Berthiaume told Gothamist. "I just needed to do something."
Just under 45 minutes left to get the Heart Slice! Both locations close at midnight. Last chance to not only eat a tasty slice but also contribute to great organizations helping separated families at the border! So many people today have been amazing and generous and lovely and words can not express how thankful we are for all your support! ❤️🍕❤️🍕❤️🍕❤️🍕❤️🍕 📷 @sundaycandybk #keepfamiliestogether #familiesbelongtogether #vinniesbrooklyn
Enraged by the inhumane treatment of asylum-seeking immigrants by the Trump administration, Berthiaume decided to sell heart-themed pizzas for one day only Thursday, at both Williamsburg and Greenpoint locations, to symbolize the need for kindness and compassion for all. The "Heart Shaped Pizza on Pizza Slice" came with little pizza hearts melted into a slice of cheese.
Best of all, 100% of the earnings from each heart-themed pizza sold was donated to charities such as The Texas Civil Rights Project, The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, The Catholic Charities of Rio Grand Valley and The Kids in Need of Defense.
Both locations were bustling all day yesterday with employees cutting pizza dough into hundreds of mini-hearts. Slices were also given out for free at McGolrick Park in Greenpoint to commemorate customers who only stopped by the pizzerias to donate.
Altogether, the pizzeria raised over $2,000 from the event. Karina Elise, a friend of Berthiasume's who works at Google, also offered to match the total proceeds through the Google Gift Matching Program, making the grand total raised $4,000.
"And our heart grew 'three sizes that day!' You did it! We did it! WE DID IT TOGETHER! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!," Vinnie's wrote on Instagram. "Sometimes the world seems dark and you feel helpless but yesterday proved to me that there’s love and humanity and hope all around us. You showed up in droves and it was inspiring. Dear friends and complete strangers all working together for a cause. Thank you for helping."
And our heart grew “three sizes that day!”. You did it! We did it! WE DID IT TOGETHER! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Yesterday we raised OVER 2000 DOLLARS (which will be matched by Google, so over 4000 DOLLARS!!!!) Insane! Your generous donations will be going to great organizations helping to care for and represent and fight for separated families at the border! (Texas Civil Rights Project @txcivilrights , Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, Catholic Charities of Rio Grand Valley and Kids in Need of Defense @supportkind ) I really don’t know how to express our overwhelming gratitude properly. So many to mention. But I shall try. Thank you to everyone who came down to buy a slice! Or ordered multiple whole pies for delivery. Thank you to everyone that just came in just to give money! Thank you to people who stopped me on the street to donate! Thank you for out of town people that sent us money! People who donated on Facebook! Thank you to our lovely friend at Google for doubling this whole thing and helping me to set it up! A GIANT GIANT THANK YOU to our amazing staff who were fully on board and cut out hundreds and hundreds of hearts all day long with a smile on their face! Our pizza guys that cranked out cheese pie after cheese pie! Thank you to everyone who shared and posted and helped to spread the word! Sometimes the world seems dark and you feel helpless but yesterday proved to me that there’s love and humanity and hope all around us. You showed up in droves and it was inspiring. Dear friends and complete strangers all working together for a cause. Thank you for helping. And if you didn’t make it yesterday, please visit any of those organizations sites to donate. ETERNAL T. HANKS. ❤️VINNIE’S #familiesbelongtogether #keepfamiliestogether #vinniesbrooklyn #love #pizza #family #williamsburg #greenpoint