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:
BIGS Sunflower Seeds has teamed up with best-selling baseball author and record-setting baseball collector Zack Hample to raise money for the charity, Pitch In For Baseball. In the BIGS Baseball Adventure, Hample, who has collected more than 6,400 baseballs during batting practice and live games, will attempt to snag a game-used ball from all 30 big league stadiums during the 2013 regular season.
For every stadium where he succeeds, BIGS will donate $500 to Pitch In For Baseball. Hample and BIGS will also be teaming up on additional fundraising efforts to benefit this charity throughout the season. Baseball fans can follow the BIGS Baseball Adventure all season via a variety of social media platforms and at BIGSBaseballAdventure.com.
Midwest and Great Lakes Circle K convenience store employees and customers showed their community dedication by raising a total of $1,237,500 for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, a charity that raises funds and awareness for 170 children’s hospitals. This year’s campaign increased 14 percent over last year’s total of $1,084,100.
Participating Circle K convenience stores collected donations by selling Miracle Balloon icons for $1, or larger balloons for a $3, $5 or $10 donation. The three-week campaign took place April 5-26 in 1,123 locations. The proceeds will benefit 28 children’s hospitals in local communities.
Circle K has been a partner of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals since 2000, raising more than $7 million.
The CITGO Community Action Team (CCAT), an employee volunteer team from the CITGO Lemont Refinery, cycled between 35 and 200 miles to raise money for multiple sclerosis (MS) in the 32nd annual Bike MS: Tour De Farms Event. Hosted by the Greater Chicagoland Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 51 Team CITGO riders and volunteers participated in the ride on June 22-23.
Bike MS is a national cycling series that was created by The National Multiple Sclerosis Society to raise money and awareness to fight multiple sclerosis. The Chicagoland area race is a two-day event in which riders personally fundraise and choose to ride anywhere from 35 to 200 miles.
Team CITGO was among the nearly 2,000 cyclists that participated this year to help the National Multiple Sclerosis Society find the cause, cure and treatment of MS. The team raised more than $19,000. The CITGO Lemont Refinery has been a part of the Bike MS event for 16 years.
Farmer Bros. Co. unveiled its first sustainability report outlining its progress and ongoing commitment to sustainable practices locally and in the global coffee community, with certifications from Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade USA, Utz, LEED, Safe Quality Food, QAI and USDA Organic.
The company's environmental pillar focuses on minimizing corporate impact by reducing emissions; shifting the waste ratio (landfill, recycling, composting); and managing inputs through internal campaigns like "Idle No More," which encourages drivers to turn off trucks when possible.
Farmer Brothers was recently awarded membership in the Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership Club for purchasing 100-percent wind power renewable energy credits for electricity used in the company's Portland facility.
Through its board-level leadership within World Coffee Research and the Coffeelands Food Security Coalition — both as a co-founder and ongoing decision-maker — Farmer Brothers has helped find solutions to some of the most important issues in coffee production, such as lack of biodiversity and food insecurity.
Additionally, the company's growing portfolio of Direct Trade coffees provides enhanced opportunity to farmers through a transparent and traceable buying program. Farmer Brothers also donates more than $1 million in cash and products each year to organizations that address food security, both locally and globally.
Love and Quiches Desserts furthered its ongoing commitment to fighting childhood hunger through its Cakes for Kids program. The company presented a check for $4,816.34, a portion of its annual profits, to Island Harvest, the largest hunger relief organization on Long Island in May at its corporate headquarters in Freeport, N.Y.
As part of the daylong event, Love and Quiches celebrated the donation the best way it knows how -- with cake. The company paid a special lunchtime visit to the children at Miss Shelly’s Upward Prep School, located in Roosevelt, N.Y. With 20 birthday sheet cakes in hand, the company brought dessert to the more than 200 Pre-K through third grade children who attend the school, which was founded to provide low- and middle-income working families with quality, affordable early childhood programs targeted toward their needs.