CHICAGO -- This community-service roundup features 11 convenience-store retailers giving back to their communities by awarding scholarships, taking in interns, collecting funds for various organizations and more.
Click through to read about these efforts ...
For the 11th consecutive year, Cumberland Farms awarded 130 high school seniors with $1,000 Cumberland Farms Believe & Achieve Scholarships. The Framingham, Mass.-based retailer has provided more than $1.1 million in financial assistance to more than 1,100 students since the scholarship’s inception.
The program is open to students entering a full-time undergraduate course of study at an accredited college, university or vocational-technical school; they also must live within 30 miles of a Cumberland Farms store. Scholarships are awarded based on a student’s academic performance and financial need, as well as involvement in extracurricular activities such as community service and athletics. The application process for next year’s scholarship program will open in October 2017.
Through Sept. 30 and in recognition of Blood Cancer Awareness Month, all of Savannah, Ga.-based enmarket’s stores will sell paper icons to collect donations for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) The Savannah, Ga.-based company hopes to raise $90,000 in support of LLS’s mission to cure blood cancer and help patients and their families.
Also, during the third lecture of enmarket’s 2017 Encourage Health Education Series, the Savannah Urban Garden Alliance received a grant for $1,000. The next lecture will take place Oct. 24, when a $1,000 grant will be presented to the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia.
Holt C-Store was named the Corporate Conservation Partner of the Year by the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust (NCCLT). Holt C-Store is a third-generation family business that operates/leases 22 retail c-stores in the southeastern and Sandhills regions of North Carolina. It has been a leading corporate supporter of the NCCLT for 15 years, encouraging its management and owners to volunteer with community nonprofits, from land trusts and conservation groups to animal protection, schools and women’s centers.
Love’s Travel Stops
Through Sept. 30, Love’s Travel Stops is raising money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH). As part of the 18th annual campaign, more than 430 Love’s locations nationwide will sell paper balloons for $1, $5 or $20 and hold events to raise money for sick and injured children in their communities.
The Oklahoma City-based retailer hopes to raise more than $2.6 million through the 18th annual store campaign; Love’s has raised more than $18 million for CMNH since 1999.
Pilot Flying J
Knoxville, Tenn.-based Pilot Flying J is donating $100,000 to help build a Desert Storm War Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
“The 650,000 service members, including 383 military members who died, in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm deserve a monument that pays tribute to their heroic service,” Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam said. “On behalf of our 26,000 team members, we believe this donation is one small way that we can demonstrate how proud we are of the men and women who serve.”
Sheetz for the Kidz, a charity run by employees of Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz, raised a record $560,000 during its July fundraising campaign. Customers supported Sheetz for the Kidz through in-store donations at checkout with 100% of the donations going directly to supporting the children in the local community of each store
In addition to the July campaign, more than $750,000 was raised during the annual Sheetz for the Kidz Golf Classic, which celebrated its 19th year in May.
Fourteen volunteers from QuickChek’s headquarters in Whitehouse Station, N.J., and various area stores sorted and boxed donations in July at Fulfill, the food bank of Monmouth and Ocean counties. Fulfill is the fourth area food bank that QuickChek supports; the others are the Community Food Bank in Hillside, N.J., and food banks in New York’s Hudson Valley and on Long Island.
“Being in the food business, partnering with the community food banks where we have stores was a natural fit when we were looking for new ways to get further involved with our local communities,” said QuickChek CEO Dean Durling.
Rhodes Convenience Stores
Through Rhodes 101 Convenience Stores’ new internship program, which launched in June, two college students joined the Rhodes team to explore multiple disciplines within the business. Interns Haleigh Knapp and Christina Niedbalski spent the summer rotating weekly between the store management, human resources, finance, information technology, business operations and marketing departments.
“Rhodes is committed to creating a learning environment for our interns that not only highlights what an amazing culture we have, but allows our interns to have a truly hands-on leadership experience,” said Zenna Gustafson, director of HR for the Cape Girardeau, Mo.-based retailer.
Rutter’s Farm Stores
Rutter’s Farm Stores’ Vote With Your Dollars program is underway. Through Oct. 31, customers can select a charity they would like to support by logging in to the Rutter’s Mobile App or ruttersrewards.com and selecting from a list of charities approved to participate in the program.
The York, Pa.-based retailer has also made several donations recently, including:
$60,000 to three organizations in the Duncansville, Pa., area to provide scholarship funding for children. The Penn-Mont Academy and the Second Century Scholarship Fund each received a $25,000 donation, and the Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation received $10,000.
$16,000 to the YMCA of York and York County, and $10,000 to the York Jewish Community Center. Both donations will be used for scholarship funding.
$10,000 each to the United Way of Franklin County, United Way of Carlisle and Cumberland County, Hanover YMCA, Hanover YWCA and The Vista School, also in support of scholarship funding.
On Sept. 23, VERC Enterprises financially sponsored and participated in the Best Buddies Friendship Walk in Plymouth, Mass. The walk, one of several throughout the country facilitated by Best Buddies International, raises awareness and funds to support those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The Duxbury, Mass.-based convenience-store and Mobil/Gulf gasoline operator was also recently given the 2017 Employer of the Year award for its inclusive hiring practices from the Arc of Greater Plymouth, which offers programs and services that empower and support people with disabilities and their families.
“We share the Arc of Greater Plymouth’s commitment to employ those in our communities with developmental challenges, giving them opportunities to pursue fulfilling lives and careers,” said VERC President Leo Vercollone.
The Wills Group
La Plata, Md.-based The Wills Group, parent company of Dash In Food Stores, raised more than $500,000 at its inaugural Blackie Wills Golf Classic and Gala, a two-day event that took place Sept. 10-11. The event supports the Blackie Wills Community Leadership Fund, which honors Julian Blacklock “Blackie” Wills, the third president and CEO of The Wills Group, and carries on his commitment to community and civic engagement. Since 2006, The Wills Group has donated more than $1.9 million to communities across Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Have a community-service announcement of your own to share? Send related news to Kristina Peters at [email protected].