NATIONAL REPORT — Giving back through community service efforts and charitable donations is a positive force that keeps many retailers and suppliers of the industry moving ahead. On a regular basis, Convenience Store News highlights these philanthropic efforts in this special section.
Here are the latest company spotlights:
Wawa's 501(c)3 organization, the Wawa Foundation, has recently made some significant donations and reached a major milestone.
First, the nonprofit donated $6.15 million to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in order to elevate and expand the hospital's Wawa Volunteer Services program.
The gift will establish a Wawa Coffee and Care Cart, currently operating on CHOP's Philadelphia campus, at CHOP's second inpatient hospital, the Middleman Family Pavilion in King of Prussia, in July 2023. The donation will also enable the purchase and upgrade of coffee makers and other accessories, as well as provide funding for the reception area of a Family Resource Center in the new patient tower on CHOP's Philadelphia campus, scheduled to open in 2028.
"We are thrilled to build on our long-standing partnership with CHOP at their hospital in Philadelphia, while expanding volunteer services to the Middleman Family Pavilion in King of Prussia to fulfill more lives in our community," said Maria Kalogredis, chair of The Wawa Foundation. "It truly warms our hearts to connect with and play even a minor role in providing the simple comfort of beverages to patients and families to make their stay a little brighter."
Overall, Wawa and the Wawa Foundation have provided more than $17.5 million in support to various departments across the hospital enterprise, including the volunteer program, Division of Orthopaedics, Adolescent Medicine, and Department of Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy.
Second, on April 16, Wawa celebrated both the anniversary of its founding, as well as the ninth birthday of the Wawa Foundation, which was launched to mark the company's 50th anniversary in 2014.
The Foundation has now donated more than $136 million in support to more than 6,000 community partners focused on health, hunger and everyday heroes across the company's operational footprint. In addition, more than 30 million meals have been donated by Wawa stores to local food pantries through the Wawa Share food donation program.
In 2022 alone, Wawa and the Foundation provided more than $22 million in financial grants and support to national and local charity partners, 3.2 million pounds of food to local food pantries, $4 million in in-kind donations and more than $1 million in hurricane relief support to Florida communities. Additionally, Wawa associates supported almost 100 local community events, including assembling and shipping more than 15,000 care packages to deployed service members.
"We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of our wonderful customers who support our Foundation campaigns and send our heartfelt thanks to every one of them for helping us provide funding to so many meaningful non-profit partners that have positively impacted lives across our communities," said Kalogredis.
The Wawa Foundation supports Wawa's charitable giving and philanthropic activities in order to ultimately help build happier, stronger communities. It currently has seven national partners: Special Olympics, the American Red Cross, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, USO, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light the Night and Check Out Hunger (Feeding America Food Banks).