Fas Mart's Charitable Wish for the Holidays

Retailer teams up with Make-A-Wish for seasonal fundraiser

Melissa Vonder Haar, Freelance Writer

RICHMOND, Va. -- As Fas Mart's retail presence has grown, so has its charitable reach: for the first time, the Richmond, Va.-based retailer has teamed up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation for a seasonal fundraiser. Throughout November and December, Fas Mart will sell Make-A-Wish snowflakes at all of its locations across seven states, with all profits going towards fulfilling the wishes of sick children.

"The filter in all our corporate charity giving is 'is this going to improve the life of a child?'," Fas Mart's senior vice president of marketing, Bill Reilly, told CSP Daily News.

He said that the company has traditionally devoted its efforts to local shelters and organizations. "This year, we said we've gotten bigger, so let's find a national organization that fits our personal filter. After interviewing several groups, it became very clear that there was no better fit than Make-A-Wish."

The foundation's mission statement is to "grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy." Since its formation in 1990, Make-A-Wish has fulfilled the dreams of more than 250,000 children globally.

Fas Mart hopes to help even more terminally ill children by selling at least 100,000 Make-A-Wish snowflakes over the holiday season--and is making it quite appealing for consumers to get in the giving spirit.

"We have a bounce-back program, where if someone makes a donation to Make-A-Wish, we pass those savings along to the customer," Reilly said, explaining that every snowflake comes with a coupon for a dollar off several items sold in Fas Mart's stores.

The retailer consciously chose the end of the year to hold such a fundraiser and plans to make the snowflakes an integral part of its holiday decor for the season.

"It's our way of decorating all our stores for the holidays and getting out the message that Make-A-Wish is our foundation for the year," said Reilly. "There's no better time to reach deep into your pockets than the holidays."

GPM operates 213 Fas Mart and Shore Stop convenience stores and supplies more than 115 independent dealers in Virginia, Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Tennessee.