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:
Alta Convenience and its customers raised $38,788 during the Buy A Star, Make-A-Wish in-store donation campaign, which took place in November and December at all 58 Alta Convenience stores. In addition to the Make-A-Wish blue stars purchased by customers, Alta Convenience, a division of Pester Marketing, also donated 10 percent from the sale of each cup of Alta Premium Coffee sold during the two-month period.
Alta Convenience has stores in four states: Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and New Mexico.
CITGO Petroleum Corp.
CITGO and Citizens Energy Corp. launched the ninth annual CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program. This program has donated more than 235 million gallons of heating oil to more than 1.8 million people since 2005. It assists families, homeless shelters and Native American tribes in 25 states and the District of Columbia.
The CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program began as a single donation in response to the skyrocketing price of heating oil in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Since then, CITGO has dedicated itself to providing energy assistance to those who are forced to choose between purchasing vital necessities like food and medicine or heating their homes.
C.N. Brown Co.
C.N. Brown, a CITGO marketer, once again is sponsoring the "Buy A Shamrock" campaign to benefit the local chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Through March 17, customers can purchase $1 green paper shamrocks or $5 gold paper shamrocks at any CITGO Big Apple Food store in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
Local community members can also get involved by "liking" the C.N. Brown Rewards Facebook page to be automatically entered for a chance to win a CITGO gift card.
C.N. Brown and its customers have raised more than $4.5 million for the MDA over the past 28 years. Proceeds raised in the "Buy a Shamrock" campaign help the local MDA chapters of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont send children to MDA summer camps and support MDA research and physical therapy consultations.
Kwik Trip Inc.
Kwik Trip is holding its fifth and final customer icon sale to benefit Freedom Honor Flight, the first Wisconsin affiliate of the national network of Honor Flight organizations. The group’s mission is to organize and fly groups of veterans to Washington D.C., to visit the war memorials that stand in their honor.
Through Feb. 28, customers can support their regional Honor Flight hub by purchasing an icon for display at their local Kwik Trip, Tobacco Outlet, Hearty Platter and Kwik Star stores. Freedom Honor Flight, based in La Crosse, Wis., serves 21 counties in western Wisconsin, southeast Minnesota and northern Iowa.
Over the past five years, customers have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Honor Flights through the fundraising program. Last year, Freedom Honor Flight received more than $42,000 through this effort.
QuickChek raised $124,875 in just six weeks to help support military veterans living in New Jersey and New York through a recent in-store donation program. Customers purchased dogtag-shaped magnets for $1 or donated their loose change at store checkout counters to benefit the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).
The campaign ran from Oct. 5 through Nov. 16 to coincide with Veterans Day. This was the second year the convenience store chain partnered with IAVA. In 2012, QuickChek raised $71,762 between Memorial Day and July 4. The two-year total raised during these awareness promotions is $196,637.