Giving Is Always in Season
As we enter the holiday season, it is a good time to reflect on all the good things convenience store retailers do as part of the communities in which they operate. C-stores annually are among the largest contributors to major national charities like United Way, Muscular Dystrophy Association, and the American Heart Association.
7-Eleven, for example, has pledged to increase corporate giving to 1 percent of its operating net income annually by 2025, and it directs a lot of its attention to programs that directly benefit young people in their communities.
But what impresses me even more is the smaller, regional giving that goes on — a lot of it under-reported in mainstream media — across the country.
Here’s a small sampling:
- Savannah, Ga.-based Parker’s donated $27,000 to Beaufort County Schools as part of its Fueling the Community program, which donates 1 cent of every gallon of gas sold on the first Wednesday of each month to local schools.
- After Hurricane Florence, GPM Investments partnered with Samaritan’s Purse to raise $65,729 in disaster relief aid.
- Jacksons Food Stores last month launched the Gift of Peace campaign to help end domestic violence in six western states. The retailer is matching customer donations to organizations that battle domestic and sexual violence.
- The Wills Group, operator of Dash In stores, partnered with Rebuilding Together, a national organization that repairs the homes of people in need and revitalizes communities. Employees were joined by more than 100 Navy volunteers and local residents as part of “Make a Difference Day” to make repairs throughout Anne Arundel County, Md.
- Supporting the U.S. military and first responders, Yesway on Veterans Day joined forces with Operation Homefront to recognize military service members with a $50,000 check presentation at one of its Iowa c-stores.
- In support of four-legged military heroes, Weigel’s completed its third-annual benefit for Smoky Mountain Service Dogs. “More Wags for Warriors” was a three-week event to build a larger training facility for highly trained service dogs.
And, as our September cover story on human trafficking revealed, c-stores are not reluctant to take on huge societal problems, either. With stores in almost every U.S. community, convenience retailers have the ability to address problems like few other companies.
Kudos to the convenience store industry, and here’s wishing all our readers a safe, happy and giving holiday season.