Kum & Go Helps Joplin Rebuild

Some convenience store retailers donate hefty amounts to a plethora of worthwhile causes — an incredibly noble effort. As an added bonus, they collect money from customers to go toward charities. Others spread their generosity even further by utilizing the next best thing at their disposal: their time. Kum & Go LC is a preeminent member of all three groups.

When an EF5 multiple-vortex tornado struck Joplin, Mo., during the afternoon of May 22, Convenience Store News' 2011 Grand Spirit Award winner immediately responded. The convenience store chain dispatched a crisis team that was onsite within 12 hours to donate its time and resources.

More than 400 stores in 11 states subsequently participated in Kum & Go's “HELP JOPLIN” campaign. In the 10 days following the tornado, Kum & Go employees and customers raised $93,910. The company's foundation supplied an additional check, for a grand total of $115,000 that was sent to the American Red Cross.

Kyle J. Krause, Kum & Go's president and CEO, said its efforts showed how much the company cares about the city and its 49,000 residents. “Our associates also had that same caring value and they wanted their own way of being able to give back,” he said. “So for them to be able to put money in and ask their customers for money, it was a great combination.”

Kum & Go's charitable efforts certainly did not stop with Joplin. During the past year, the West Des Moines, Iowa-based chain supported several charities and community service platforms. Among those efforts were a $15,000 check to the Des Moines, Iowa, affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure; an Angel Tree that provided 60 children with two gifts each during the holidays; a $5,000 contribution to the Red Cross to be used toward Minot, N.D., flood relief efforts; a $10,000 check to the American Red Cross to help Arkansas residents recover from a string of tornadoes that ravaged the state; and participation in Springfield, Mo.'s “Victory Mission” cardboard turkey campaign.

Kum & Go's charitable approach starts at the top. Krause, along with his wife Sharon, are behind many of the efforts. For example, he and his wife serve as co-chairs of the United Way Toqueville Society Campaign. Combined, the couple has served on 20 boards and committees. Sharon Krause spends 10 to 15 hours per week as a volunteer for various causes.

Kum & Go is also no stranger to the Spirit Awards for Community Outreach. The company was a Spirit Award winner among c-store chains operating 100 to 499 stores last year.

— Brian Berk

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