Community Service Spotlight: CITGO, Kum & Go & Nittany MintMart

Parker's Kitchen, QuikTrip, Stewart's Shops, SurgePays and The United Family also give back to the communities they serve.
Amanda Koprowski
Associate Editor
Koprowski Headshot

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.

Here are the latest company spotlights:

CITGO Logo

CITGO Petroleum Corp.

Simón Bolívar Foundation Inc., the nonprofit foundation of CITGO Petroleum Corp., released its 2022 Annual Report, detailing the company's activities over the previous year. 

Dedicated to improving the health of vulnerable individuals affected by disaster, conflict and poverty, with special attention to children and mothers in and from Venezuela, the foundation spent the last year reinforcing existing strategic relationships and developing new ones, doubling its estimated impact to 200,000 individuals in eight countries across the Americas. According to the report, over the course of 2022, the organization committed $3.8 million to programs from qualified charitable organizations, in addition to an outstanding conditional commitment of $1.2 million. 

The programs receiving support primarily focused on humanitarian health grants and donations to hospitals. Adherent to its mission, approximately 76 percent of the foundation's estimated beneficiaries are in Venezuela.

Kum & Go + Habitat for Humanity

Kum & Go

Kum & Go and Habitat for Humanity International celebrated the 10th anniversary of their partnership, with the c-store operator pledging a minimum of $500,000 to support the nonprofit's mission this year.

Throughout April, Kum & Go's 400-plus store locations across its 13-state operational footprint collected customer donations at checkout, totaling more than $290,000. Additionally, 10 cents from every 20-ounce Kum & Go-labeled bottle of water purchase was donated as part of the Buy Water & Build Homes campaign. These donations, in addition to the retailer's $250,000 corporate gift, helped the company beat its pledged goal by $47,000.

On top of the in-store efforts, Kum & Go associates donated time and support during the April 22 Earth Day block party with Habitat Detroit, and volunteered during build days throughout May and June in Arkansas, Colorado and Iowa. Kum & Go also sponsored nine completed home builds, with a 10th planned in partnership with Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity in Colorado Springs, Colo., later this year. 

Since 2014, Kum & Go has raised more than $5.5 million for the organization.

Nittany MinitMart logo

Nittany MinitMart

Nittany MinitMart's fourth annual Fuel the Cause campaign raised $149,030.43 for local fire companies, beating its $120,000 record from 2022.

Beginning April 1, the State College, Pa.-based company donated a penny of every gallon of gas sold at its 26 locations to local fire companies, with Pennsylvania Skill, MinitMart's largest vendor, matching the donation.

In addition to MinitMart's donation from gas sales, customers also had the opportunity to make cash donations at the store, round up purchase totals at the register or purchase campaign themed merchandise.

Parker's Kitchen presenting a donation to America's Second Harvest

Parker's Kitchen

Parker's Kitchen raised $241,523 through a round-up campaign focused on food insecurity. The company matched 25 percent of customer donations through the Parker's Community Fund before delivering the funds to America's Second Harvest in Georgia and Lowcountry Food Bank in South Carolina. 

[Read more: Parker's Reportedly Planning First Florida Store]

Overall, since the company launched its round-up campaign in May 2022, Parker's has raised more than $413,000 to fight hunger in Georgia and South Carolina.  

"We know that hunger is a major issue in our community and appreciate our customers rounding up their transactions to the nearest dollar to help make positive change across the region," said Parker's Founder and CEO Greg Parker. "Our goal is to provide two million meals to feed hungry children this year."

Round-up donations benefit a rotating series of nonprofit organizations through the Parker's Community Fund. Customers can choose to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar at any Parker's and Parker's Kitchen retail store across Georgia or South Carolina.

Campaign proceeds will be donated to Union Mission, a local nonprofit dedicated to providing comprehensive services for individuals experiencing homelessness.

Kid playing basketball at Atlanta Hawks' 2023 Community Court Tour.

QuikTrip Corp.

Throughout the summer, QuikTrip partnered with major organizations across the Atlanta metropolitan area in order to support their local community members. 

The company first donated more than $1 million to the St. Vincent de Paul Georgia Motel to Home program, a collaboration between the latter organization, the United Way of Greater Atlanta and the City of Norcross, Ga.

St. Vincent de Paul increases housing stability through both eviction prevention, rehousing and transitional housing programs and housing services for at-risk individuals and families. Starting as a pilot program with 13 families in 2020, the Motel to Home program has grown to serve all of metro Atlanta in 12 Georgia counties. The majority of clients live in motels in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties, where there is a high concentration of extended-stay motels. 

According to the organization, since the program's inception, 98 percent of Motel to Home participants have remained stably housed while parents enrolled in the program have increased their income from an average of $17.71 per hour to $20.21 per hour. 

QuikTrip also partnered with the Atlanta Hawks, helping the basketball franchise surprise 1,500 youth at existing day camps across Atlanta as a part of the 2023 Community Court Tour. The tour consisted of pop-up basketball and fitness activities led by the Hawks Basketball Academy coaching staff and featured appearances by Hawks alumni and players at already-existing day camps.

Throughout the tour, the Hawks provided special half-day sessions for local youth with a curriculum that focused heavily on teaching basketball fundamentals and fitness basics with an emphasis on staying physically active, character development and having fun. 

The Hawks and QuikTrip previously announced a new multiyear community-focused partnership, which made the Hawks the first team in the NBA to partner with the c-store retailer. As part of the deal, QuikTrip became the naming rights sponsor of the Community Court Tour.

Stewart's Shops presents a donation to the Little Falls Youth & Family Center

Stewart's Shops

Stewart's Shops and the Dake Family donated $100,000 to the Little Falls Youth & Family Center for its Community Services Capital Campaign.

Having served the Little Falls, N.Y., community for more than 140 years, the center provides resources for homeless and low-income families in need of food, clothing, shelter and reliable childcare. The organization currently assists more than 100,000 individuals each year through 80 educational, instructional and community service programs.

Campaign funds will be used to modernize three of the organization's program facilities: the center's primary location for emergency housing, aquatics and health/fitness programs at 15 Jackson Street; its senior center and transitional housing at 524 E. Main Street; and its childcare services, food pantry and thrift store location at 45 Furnace Street. 

Construction has already begun on both the senior center and primary site, with the childcare services expansion slated to begin in late fall 2023.

"We are proud to support our shops' communities. We recognize the need for more childcare and family services in Little Falls, and this project will provide more access to these much-needed programs," said Susan Dake, president of Stewart's Shops Foundation.

SurgePays Inc.

Fintech and telecommunications company SurgePays Inc. and its distribution partner ParichuteConnect signed a partnership agreement with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Native Services. 

BGCA Native Services is a dedicated group of leaders that works to provide culturally relevant support to Boys & Girls Clubs on native lands and are committed to addressing the challenges and issues unique to Native American communities while celebrating their strengths.

The partnership agreement allows ParichuteConnect to launch an affordable connectivity program (ACP) enrollment process using SurgePays' platform for Native Boys & Girls Clubs members.

ACP eligibility is open to households that benefit from government programs like the free school lunch program, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.

Special Olympics logo

The United Family

Throughout June, The United Family's United Express stores ran a donate-at-the-register fundraiser campaign that benefitted Special Olympics chapters in local areas before presenting a check to athletes and representatives from the organization at the end of the month.

[Read more: The United Family Raises Awareness of Human Trafficking]

United Express has been a supporter of the Special Olympics since 2015, participating in both fundraising and volunteering events. During that time, United Express and The United Family have raised more than $100,000 for the organization's chapters across the region.

"We are so thankful to be in a position where we can help support the mission and activities of the Special Olympics," said Angelos Lambis, director of fuel and convenience for The United Family and board member for Special Olympics Lubbock. "I'm always amazed at how our store guests and team members rise to the occasion to help partner with such a great organization in our community. We are excited to do our part to help."

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