Fried Chicken for a Cause: The Best of #BetterThanChickFilA

A copycat Chick-fil-A sandwich of fried chicken and sliced pickles on a bun, on a white plate

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

This past March, I sent out a quick tweet about a spur-of-the-moment charity-drive idea that came to me late one night: For every person who made our Chick-fil-A fried chicken sandwich clone (or any other fried chicken or fried-vegetable sandwich), posted a photo on Twitter or Instagram, and tagged it with #BetterThanChickFilA, I would donate $10 to Our Family Coalition, an organization that advances equality for LGBTQ families with children.

In the three months that I kept the drive open, I thought that I'd get maybe 100 or so entries and donate about $1,000 to this great cause. Boy, was I wrong. Between Twitter and Instagram, almost 600 sandwich photos in all were posted—an average of nearly seven per day. Not only that, but many generous folks agreed to match my donations, which, along with employer matches, brought our total to just under $52,000!

Of that, we decided to donate around $28K to Our Family and split the remainder between several other great organizations doing essential work on behalf of the LGBTQ community, including the National LGBTQ Task Force, Trans Lifeline, the LYRIC Center for LGBTQQ Youth, Larkin Street Youth Services, Gender Spectrum, the Metro Trans Umbrella Group of St. Louis, and the Transgender Law Center.

I am completely and utterly floored by the number of folks who participated in this drive, and the generosity of so many. Of course, I hope you enjoyed the chicken sandwiches, too.

The drive is over, but feel free to keep using the tag and piling on those delicious chicken sandwiches. It doesn't even have to be the Chick-fil-A clone: My Five-Ingredient Fried Chicken Sandwich is about as simple as it gets, or you can go the complex route with my Kimchi-Brined Fried Chicken Sandwich. Or, try any of our many other fried chicken recipes.

There's even more good news! This drive came with a sweet bonus prize: all those mouthwatering photos. Here are a few of my favorites, but you'll find hundreds more on Twitter and Instagram.

A special thanks to Twitter users @hipstersmurf, @awiner, @joshu, @dag16, @andreasgal, @AvidanRoss, @mikesweeney, @lordeagle, and @janeylicious, all of whom generously matched all or part of my donation.