Community Service Spotlight
NATIONAL REPORT -- Giving back through community service efforts and charitable donations is a positive force that keeps many retailers and suppliers of this industry moving ahead. On a regular basis, Convenience Store News will highlight these philanthropic efforts in this special section. Here are the latest company spotlights:
Chevron was recently named Penn State's Corporate Partner of the Year in recognition of the giant oil company's wide-ranging philanthropy to the University.
Chevron's most recent gift to Penn State was a grant of $549,500. The gift will support several initiatives across the University, including field trips and travel, diversity programming, laboratory upgrades and student organizations in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; student projects, diversity programming, and career development programs in the College of Engineering; professional development and recruiting events in the Smeal College of Business; and University-wide events such as the Palmer Museum of Art Gala and the IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, or THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, raising funds to conquer pediatric cancer.
To date, the company's investment in Penn State has totaled more than $19 million in philanthropy and research support combined, with roughly half of that amount representing philanthropic investment. Chevron has made major investments in educational programs, student scholarships and facilities in multiple fields of study.
The Kroger Co.
For the sixth consecutive year, The Kroger Co. Family of Stores, in partnership with key suppliers, has committed $3 million in donations for local breast cancer initiatives across the country to support National Breast Cancer Awareness month in October.
At the end of this year, Kroger will have donated more than $21 million to support breast cancer research, education and services since Giving Hope a Hand began in 2006.
Kroger received a 2012 Gold HALO award from the Cause Marketing Forum for the company's annual Giving Hope a Hand campaign. The effort kicked off in stores in late September and features 48 Kroger associates who are breast cancer survivors on marketing materials and custom packages of national and Kroger corporate brand products. These women share their survivor stories on the packaging of select items sold exclusively in Kroger's family of stores.
Stripes Convenience Stores
Stripes Convenience Stores recently held its third annual 4-H fundraising campaign, "Helping Today's Kids Become Tomorrow's Leaders," raising more than $210,000 in its first two years. Proceeds were donated to the local 4-H program in the Texas city where the donation was made, enabling customers to help local kids each time they purchase a 4-H clover.
Participating customers received a coupon for a free 12-oz. Slush Monkey and a buy-one-get-one free pricing on a Nestlé non-chocolate candy item.
In other company news, for the second consecutive year, Stripes supported Midland (Texas) athletics at the Scharbauer Sports Complex and continued its community investment grant program.
Stripes will recognize two local high school students, with each student receiving a $1,000 grant. The students will be chosen based on their essays about how they would use the funds to better their local community by specifically helping children.
BP Oil and Miller Oil
BP Oil presented a $20,000 check to support CHKD's (Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters' in Norfolk, Va.) child abuse program for the second year in a row, thanks to encouragement from Miller Oil, a longtime program supporter.
CHKD's child abuse program coordinates the efforts of all professionals involved in an abuse or neglect case, including representatives from Child Protective Service, the Commonwealth's Attorney's office, detectives from local police departments, and medical and mental health professionals.
The companies' generosity was also extended through The Miller Oil Foundation's 9th Annual Charity Golf Classic. The funds raised at this tournament facilitated grants to additional charities in Miller's service area. They included St. Mary's Home for Disabled Children, Hurrah Players, Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, Lee's Friends and Equi-Kids Therapeutic Riding Program.
The Altria Companies Employee Community Fund (ACECF) awarded more than $2.4 million in grants to 120 nonprofits based in communities where Altria's companies have facilities.
This year, the ACECF marked its twelfth year in Richmond, Va., and second in Franklin Park, Ill., Hopkinsville, Ky., Nashville, Tenn., and King of Prussia and Limerick, Pa. Throughout the past 11 years, the ACECF has awarded 1,313 grants totaling $34.7 million to non-profit organizations in communities where Altria companies' employees live and work.
Employees from all levels of the company manage and support the ACECF, which is one of the only employee driven workplace-giving programs that are publicly reported among U.S. companies according to the Changing Our World organization. Since Altria makes a contribution to cover ACECF's administrative costs, every employee dollar raised goes directly to supporting local non-profit organizations.
Employee committees in each community reviewed the grant requests and selected the non-profit organizations for funding. This year, employees chose the 120 grant recipients from about 220 proposals.
In each community, employees of Altria's companies select the ACECF grants categories. The focus areas for grant requests were: domestic violence, emergency services, homelessness, hunger relief, school readiness for children (pre-kindergarten), senior services (including adults with disabilities) and youth services (including youth with disabilities).
The Fund was founded in 2000 by employees.
Landshark Lager partnered with Ocean Conservancy in support of the organization's International Coastal Cleanup Day. The annual effort, now in its 27th year, encourages people to reduce their own trash impact and volunteer to clean up our coastlines, rivers and lakefronts. This year, more than 500,000 volunteers are expected to participate in local clean-up efforts around the world.
International Coastal Cleanup Day also marked the culmination of Landshark's Fin-Tastic Voyage. From June through September, Landshark and Ocean Conservancy invited volunteers to help keep the coast trash free through beach cleanup events. The Fin-Tastic Voyage also included stand up paddleboarding and concerts.
An International Coastal Cleanup Day event in Pensacola was the finale to the program that hosted events at the Jersey Shore, N.J.; Ocean City, Md.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Savannah, Ga.; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Miami/Key West and St. Petersburg/Tampa. More than 750 volunteers turned out to support Landshark's local clean-up efforts. Paddleboarding champion and Landshark ambassador Danny Ching also joined the cleanup effort.
Throughout the summer, Landshark sponsored stand up paddleboarding races and events offering both professional and recreational paddleboarders a chance to participate in the fast-growing sport.
Nestle Waters North America
Keep America Beautiful, a national volunteer-based community action and education organization, is again teaming up with Nestlé Waters North America to announce the launch of the second annual Recycle-Bowl youth recycling competition.
In its inaugural year, more than 1,200 elementary, middle- and high-schools around the country, representing more than 500,000 students, participated in a fun, interactive way to learn about waste reduction and environmental responsibility through in-school recycling. Sixty-seven percent of participating schools saw a "significant" or "some" increase in the amount of materials their school recycled during the competition timeframe.
Registration is open to all U.S. schools and the competition runs from Oct. 15 through Nov. 9, 2012, culminating around America Recycles Day. Participating schools will track and report how much recyclable material they collect for a chance to win prizes. At the close of the four-week competition, the school in each state that collects the most recyclable material per capita will win $1,000. A national champion will then be chosen from among the statewide winners to receive an additional grand prize valued at $2,500.
Educational recycling activities will also be provided online and through a registration toolkit. Recycle-Bowl is sponsored by Nestlé Waters North America.
For the past four years, a 7-Eleven franchisee in upstate N.Y., Richard Santonocito, has been raising money for Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck by placing a coin jar in front of the cash register at two of his 7-Eleven franchises. All the money goes to make Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck, the place where "summer is for everyone."
Since Santonocito began this program, more than $16,000 has been raised for the camp. Proceeds will go to benefit the programs for special-needs children and young adults who attend the camp during the summer and its respite weekends from September through June.
In addition to collecting money for the camp, he and the 7-Eleven employees, including his daughter Suzanne, have come down to the camp and served BBQ lunches and dinners for the campers. As a board member, Santonocito has volunteered his time at the camp's fundraising events.