Community Service Spotlight
NATIONAL REPORT -- Giving back through community service efforts and charity 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.
Here are the latest company spotlights:
Aloha Petroleum Ltd.
Aloha Petroleum Ltd. donated $1,000 to the Marimed Foundation, which uses ocean- and land-based learning experiences to help steer at-risk youth in the right direction.
Established in Hawaii in 1984, the Marimed Foundation is a nonprofit group that provides a variety of residential treatment and education services to male adolescents, ages 14 through 18, who face difficult emotional educational challenges requiring something more structured and restrictive than school or home-based services.
CHS Auburn and its outlying Cenex locations in Washington gathered donations of money and food to help CHS reach its goal of raising more than two million meals for hungry families.
Donations collected will support families using local food banks and Food Lifeline.
CHS Auburn is a business unit of CHS Inc., an energy, grains and foods global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives throughout the United States. The CHS Harvest for Hunger food and fund drive is designed to harness the power of the 70 CHS-owned/locally governed cooperatives to address America's growing hunger problem.
Chevron donated $1.5 million to United Way programs that help East Bay, Calif., families in financial crisis. The grant will help keep the doors open at SparkPoint programs in Oakland, Bay Point and Richmond.
United Way SparkPoint centers provide educational, job training and financial planning services to families in poverty. As a long-time SparkPoint funder, Chevron paid to establish many of the Bay Area's 10 centers.
Chevron also recently donated $250,000 to Tuskegee University in Alabama to go toward student scholarships and education programs such as FASTREC and Freshman Accelerated Start-Up Training for Retention in Engineering Curricula, an intensive summer program for high school graduates interested in engineering careers.
Twanna Hardy, Chevron’s senior diversity specialist, said Tuskegee is among the top engineering schools and the donation was an important investment in its employee pipeline.
Cumberland Farms Inc.
Cumberland Farms launched its 2013 Cups for Kids campaign, formerly the Pediatric Care Campaign. This year, Cumberland Farms will donate 5 cents per cup from its coffee and/or Chill Zone beverage sales to benefit pediatric care programs at five hospitals across New England and upstate New York.
The five month-long fundraising campaign dedicates one month to each of the five hospitals from April through August. Cumberland Farms works closely with each of the five hospitals to identify the needs of their respective pediatric care units, and aims to ensure a successful fundraiser that will raise enough funds to have a profound impact on the meaningful programs that the hospitals provide in their communities.
In other news, Cumberland Farms named Hopewell Junction's Beekman Athletic Club in New York as the beneficiary of a month-long fundraiser. The convenience store retailer's donation will provide important financial support for the community's youth-oriented baseball and softball programs throughout the upcoming season.
For the four weeks that started on March 20, Cumberland Farms is donating 20 cents from every Chill Zone beverage, brewed tea and coffee (iced or hot) purchased at its newly remodeled store in Hopewell Junction, N.Y., directly to the Beekman Athletic Club. Cumberland Farms aims to raise at least $1,000 for the local community.
Over the past year, Cumberland Farms has donated more than $100,000 to support local organizations across the Northeast.
Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes
Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes recently partnered with The National Kidney Foundation and donated $10,000. The c-store chain also partnered with Pepsi to raise awareness. During the months of February, March and April, Nice N Easy store employees proudly wore uniform shirts that display the National Kidney Foundation & Pepsi logos.
After a record-breaking fundraising season, 1,440 checks totaling $1.34 million in grants have been mailed to nonprofit organizations receiving Stewart’s Shops’ Holiday Match funds. The money, contributed by customers and matched by the company, will assist local children’s charities in the 30 counties where Stewart’s Shops are located.
This year’s customer contributions, plus the company match, bring the Holiday Match contributions to more than $17 million in the program’s 26-year history. Since 1986, Stewart’s has been collecting customer donations from Thanksgiving Day through Christmas Day. The donations are matched by Stewart’s, with 100 percent of the funds returned to the communities in which the shops are located.
Stewart’s Shops also recently donated $1,000 to help create a new playground at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in New York by September 2014.
Overall, Stewart’s has maintained its annual budget of $2.25 million for charitable contributions in 2013, which includes the company’s $672,000 in matching funds for Holiday Match.
Valero Energy Corp.
Valero recently set a fundraising record through two of its initiatives. The Valero Texas Open and the Benefit for Children Golf Classic raised $10 million through sponsorships over the course of a year, topping last year's total by $1 million. The money raised goes to children's charities nationwide.
Last year, 410 charities benefited from Valero's fundraising efforts.
Customers of the King of Prussia Wawa at Henderson Road and Prince Frederick Street in Pennsylvania were recently treated to more than just free morning coffee. Employees and customers enjoyed a party atmosphere to celebrate the store's 25th anniversary at the corner location, complete with music, dancing, prizes and cake.
Wawa also took the opportunity to announce a donation of $92,527.19, raised through in-store donations in the Check-Out Hunger campaign at area stores.