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Community Service Spotlight: 7-Eleven Inc., Casey's, Love's Travel Stops & Sheetz

Circle K, Lassus and The United Family, among others, also gave back to their communities.

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 highlights these philanthropic efforts in this special section.

[Read more: Community Service Spotlight: CITGO, Core-Mark Int'l. & EG America]

Here are the latest company spotlights:

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7-Eleven donation in honor of Coach Ken Kaercher

7-Eleven Inc.

Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven Inc. made a surprise check presentation to the Warren Lincoln Wrestling Group in Warren, Mich., and Beat the Streets Detroit in honor of Coach Ken Kaercher's support for youth in his hometown.

The company joined the wrestling team and representatives from the nonprofit organization at Warren Lincoln High School to surprise Kaercher with a $5,000 donation in honor of his more than 20 years supporting youth in his hometown of Warren. The coach also had a longstanding relationship with 7-Eleven, using rewards of giant Slurpees as incentives for his students.

The donation will be used to purchase equipment for the team and the Beat the Streets Detroit program, the latter of which encompasses wrestling instruction, tutoring, STEM exposure and mentorship from dedicated and qualified coaches, tutors and mentors, all dedicated to Detroit area youths. 

Casey's General Stores Inc.

In 2024, Casey's awarded $1 million in grants to 60 public and nonprofit, private schools through its Cash for Classrooms program. 

Awards this year included $50,000 to an Omaha, Neb., school to update and enhance their playground; $35,700 for book vending machines at five elementary schools in Des Moines, Iowa; and $25,000 to a Knoxville, Tenn., high school to create a college and career center.

"Creating opportunities to learn and grow and experience the world is one of the best gifts we can give kids and have a positive impact in our communities," said Katie Petru, director of communications and community at Casey's. "We are grateful for the generosity of our guests, team members and partners who help us make an even greater impact."

The annual Cash for Classrooms program provides grants ranging from $3,000 to $50,000 to support physical improvements to school buildings and playgrounds, requests for books and educational materials, and community engagement and extracurricular activities.

Since 2020, Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey's has awarded more than 320 grants to schools throughout its 17-state footprint.

Circle K donation to Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation

Circle K

Circle K presented a $313,000 check to community partner and nonprofit, Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation, which honors the sacrifices of the fallen military heroes by supporting their children through college scholarships and educational counseling.

On May 23, Circle K donated 10% of its profits from fuel sales from its Circle K Fuel Day event at more than 5,500 stores nationwide, resulting in more than $260,000 for college funds. 

The retailer had previously partnered with the charity and PepsiCo to support its Rolling Remembrance tour, amplifying the organization's mission by donating $50,000 to the cause. 

The brand presented the donation in San Antonio, Texas, a community with deep military roots and more than 150 Circle K stores, on May 31 with the help of San Antonio basketball legend and veteran, David "The Admiral" Robinson.

Circle K is the global banner of Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.

CITGO Petroleum Corp.

Since the launch of CITGO Caring For Our Coast in 2014, the program has seen more than 200,000 hours of volunteer time; nearly 1 million trees and grasses planted; more than 520,000 pounds of trash collected; and 12,000 acres of land restored. 

[Read more: CITGO & Folk Oil Pilot Electric Vehicle Charging in Michigan]

The coastal conservation and restoration program, which began in honor of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, has evolved over the last decade into the company's banner corporate citizenship program to protect vulnerable habitats. Houston-based CITGO works with community leaders, elected officials and nonprofit organizations to address shared challenges and improve habitats through grants, volunteer efforts and education.

"While we are recognizing a significant milestone, we never lose sight of why we remain committed to caring for our coast," said Kresha Sivinski, CITGO vice president of human resources and support services. "The work we do today is so important for future generations." 

To honor Caring For Our Coast's anniversary this year, CITGO will host several volunteer events near its locations in Lake Charles, La.; Lemont, Ill.; and Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas. CITGO also plans to award $1 million in grants in 2024 to longtime and new partners working in restoration. 

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Lassus donation to Fort Wayne Childrens Zoo


Fort Wayne, Ind.-based c-store operator Lassus raised $100,000 for the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo through its seven-week "Make a Splash" fundraising campaign. 

Between March 26 and May 13, all 35 Lassus locations collected donations to support two zoo initiatives: the Coastal Cove renovation and the return of Wild Wednesdays. 

The zoo used its Coastal Cove project to reimagine its California sea lion habitat, which will reopen this summer. The renovations are intended to elevate animal well-being, enable the zoo team to better care for the animals, and introduce harbor seals for the first time into the exhibit. 

Between May 1 through the end of July, the zoo extends its hours until 8 p.m. each week on Wild Wednesdays, with discounted admission tickets available after 4 p.m. thanks to the support of Lassus and the community through the Love thy Neighbor round-up program.

Lassus will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2025.

Three kids smiling in a DonorsChoose classroom

Love's Travel Stops

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week and the 60th anniversary of Oklahoma City-based Love's Travel Stops, the company donated $60,000 to DonorsChoose, a crowdfunding platform for teachers to fund school projects.

[Read more: PODCAST: How Inclusion & Diversity Factor Into Love's Award-Winning Culture]


"One of our giving pillars is youth and education, so this partnership just makes sense," said Jenny Love Meyer, chief culture officer of Love's. "DonorsChoose's bottom-up model directly impacts teachers and students in our hometown of Oklahoma City, and we can't think of a better way to support the future generation of leaders."

The donation will help fund 188 projects at 93 schools in the metro Oklahoma City area. Most of the funding will go to engineering, technology and science projects at equity-focused schools.

According to Love's, studies show that just one funded project at a school can lead to improved academic outcomes for students and makes a teacher 22% less likely to leave in a given school year.

Rendering for Joan Secchia Children's Rehabilitation Hospital

Meijer Inc.

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer Inc., the parent company of c-store chain Meijer Express, donated $3 million to support the construction of the Joan Secchia Children's Rehabilitation Hospital, a joint partnership between Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation and Corewell Health Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. 

The new facility will be a freestanding children's rehabilitation hospital dedicated to helping young patients who have experienced a life-changing injury or illness achieve the best possible outcome through compassionate collaboration, innovation and interdisciplinary care, the organization said. The hospital will offer inpatient and outpatient services for children with a wide range of conditions, such as brain injury, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, multitrauma and cancer.

"As a family-owned company, we are humbled to give to organizations that provide hope and healing to so many families," said Rick Keyes, Meijer president and CEO. "We're thrilled to be able to help Mary Free Bed and Helen DeVos Children's Hospital create the first children's rehabilitation hospital in Michigan and provide support to families in times of need."

Groundbreaking for the $70 million hospital is planned to take place later this year, with expected completion in 2026.

Parker's Kitchen

Parker's Kitchen made a $20,000 donation to Bryan County Schools in Georgia via its Fueling the Community program. The Savannah, Ga.-based company presented the check at an event at Richmond Hill Primary School.

[Read more: Parker's Officially Enters New Georgia Market]

The Parker's Fueling the Community charitable initiative donates a percentage of gas sold at all Parker's Kitchen locations on the first Wednesday of each month to area schools. The company has donated more than $2 million to area schools across South Carolina and Georgia since the inception of the program in 2011. 

According to the company, drivers who use PumpPal debit can select which county they would like their Fueling the Community donation to go to. The debit program can be accessed via the Parker's Rewards app.

Sheetz For Kidz Change Box sign

Sheetz Inc.

Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz Inc. kicks off its annual month of in-store fundraising to support Sheetz For the Kidz, an employee-driven charity supporting children in need, on July 1. 

During the month, customers at Sheetz’s 720-plus convenience stores throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia can support local families in need of clothes, toys and other basic needs by making a donation in change boxes at the check-out or by adding funds to their purchase at the point of sale.

Last year, customers raised $1.7 million for children in need through in-store fundraising.  

In partnership with Make-A-Wish, funds raised during the campaign also sponsor wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. The charity sponsors one child per Sheetz operating district, totaling 71 children this year.

Furthermore, to broaden the connection to the communities it serves, Sheetz For the Kidz partners with Feeding America to provide food to children in need. In 2023, their $716,000 commitment served more than 1.5 million meals through backpack programs, kids cafés, school and mobile pantries, and summer feeding programs.

Customers can support Sheetz For the Kidz throughout the year by:

  • Donate loyalty points through the Sheetz app.
  • For online-only Walmart orders, or orders on the Walmart app, add Sheetz For the Kidz as your preferred charity on your account and round up your total during checkout. 
  • Donate online at
TravelCenters of America St Christopher banner

TravelCenters of America

TravelCenters of America (TA), part of the bp portfolio, began its annual roundup campaign in support of the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund (SCF). 

Running through July 31, guests will have the opportunity to round up their purchase at the register to the nearest dollar in order to directly benefit professional truck drivers out of work due to illness or injury. 

Since 2010, Westlake, Ohio-based TA has raised more than $3 million through campaigns and initiatives for SCF, contributing $120,000 in 2023 alone.

"This organization is an invaluable safety net for professional drivers when they're experiencing a difficult time in their life," said Debi Boffa, TA CEO. "We are grateful to our generous guests who recognize the value SCF brings to these incredibly hardworking men and women during their time of need."

In addition to helping drivers facing financial hardship, SCF offers several other benefits for the professional driver community, including tobacco cessation programs, health and wellness guidance, free vaccines and preventive cancer screening tests. 

United Family Apple Donation in Lubbock Texas

The United Family

During the month of April, Texas-based The United Family donated more than 50,000 pounds of apples to food banks and food pantries across Texas and New Mexico as part of the Take a Bite Out of Hunger program.

FirstFruits Farms created the program 14 years ago to help feed the underserved while bringing attention to the problem of food insecurity across the country. As one of the program's original partners, United Family stores have donated 600,000 pounds of apples and fed more than 167,000 families in total.

"The United Family feels very blessed to be in the position to make these donations for the 14th year in a row," said Joseph Bunting, produce business director for The United Family. "We know just how important donations of fresh produce can be for food banks and their clients. We are so thankful for this partnership with FirstFruits and the hard work of our team members across Texas and New Mexico."

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