'Service Station' Philanthropy Roundup

Retailers fuel engines of giving in communities they serve

OAK BROOK, Ill. -- Although the convenience/gasoline retailing industry has come a long way from the days of the service station, in one way, the industry's retailers still function as "service" stations. They keep a steady stream of philanthropic endeavors and support flowing into the communities they serve.

Some recent examples include:

The Pantry

The Pantry Inc., Cary, N.C., is inviting customers in 72 Kangaroo Express convenience stores throughout the Chattanooga, North Georgia and Cleveland areas to donate to its first annual "Kash for Kids" campaign in support of Junior Achievement, a nonprofit organization that brings the real world to students through hands-on curriculum delivered by a trained classroom volunteer.

From Nov. 1 through Dec. 26, Kangaroo Express will rally store guests to make donations to the Kash for Kids fundraiser, encouraging the local community to help young people learn the importance of staying in school and develop the competitive skills and confidence needed to succeed in the 21st-century global marketplace.

Irving Oil

Irving Oil, Portsmouth, N.H., has awarded nearly $40,000 to five local community organizations throughout Eastern Canada and New England. Organizations sent in proposals to Irving to apply for a grant and five were selected to have their requests fully funded.

The following five organizations each received funding: Children's Friend, Providence, R.I., a child-serving nonprofit agency; Spectrum Youth & Family Services, Burlington, Vt., a leader in homeless youth programs; Mystic Valley Elder Services, Malden, Mass., a private, nonprofit organization that assists more than 10,000 elderly individuals annually in eight communities north of Boston; Boys & Girls Clubs of St. John's, St. John's, N.L., a youth-serving, nonprofit, charitable organization; Clean Annapolis River Project, Annapolis Royal, N.S., a charitable, community-based, group that works with communities and organizations to promote conservation, restoration and sustainable use of the marine and freshwater ecosystems of the Annapolis River watershed.


Employees of Thorntons Inc., Louisville, Ky., will be participating in the company's annual volunteer Humanitarian Day on November 11.

With Projects With Purpose LLC, an organization that coordinates and furthers humanitarian initiatives nationwide, volunteers will renovate Catholic Charities of Louisville's headquarters' storage facilities. Volunteers will perform tasks including the build out of a new storage area, as well as repairs and refurbishments to, and the reorganization of, existing storage space at the Portland location.

And in Henryville, Ind., a community ravaged by a tornado outbreak in March, volunteers will fully frame eight houses and 10 sheds that will then be shipped to Henryville victims still in need nine months after the tragedy that completely or partially destroyed almost 200 homes. These efforts will guarantee an additional eight families a new home plus the sheds that accompany them, indispensable for the tools and farming equipment that sustains them.

Thorntons volunteers also will prepare 150 Thanksgiving baskets for families.

The company also recently announced a pledge of an additional $1 million donation to 21st Century Parks, earmarked for The Parklands of Floyds Fork project. 21st Century Parks is a nonprofit organization responsible for fundraising, land acquisition, construction, operations and maintenance of The Parklands of Floyds Fork, a 4,000-acre public parks system under development along the Floyds Fork watershed in Louisville.

VERC Enterprises

VERC Enterprises, Duxbury, Mass., recently partnered with Gulf and raised a total of $9,257 for breast cancer research during the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, held October 14 at the Hatch Shell in Boston. A team of 50 employees, friends and family represented VERC at the fundraising event.

VERC Enterprises accepted donations for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in each of its locations during the first two weeks of October; all contributors were entered into a raffle with the winner from each VERC location receiving a free tank of gasoline. For each donation it received, VERC made an additional contribution to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

Kwik Shop

In the third year of its fundraiser, employees and customers of regional Hutchinson, Kansas-based Kwik Shops donated $20,156.76 to help children and families. During the entire month of August, employees encouraged customers to "Make a difference with a Dollar" with their purchases. They also promoted the agency's Ways to Work Program through store displays.

Activities for the public included a carnival with a dunk tank and two car washes. Employees raised additional funds by throwing pies at their top managers.

[Pictured (left to right): Lisa Picker, Jenny Stewart, Nancy Schulze and Michelle Kaczmarek from the HFS Ways to Work program; and Kwik Shop managers Scott Morgaridge, Mark Cook, June Cullom, Roz Sells and Jason Mathison.]



Employees of BP, Houston, celebrated a milestone in October, reaching $20 million donated to more than 14,500 U.S.-based nonprofit organizations through The Fabric of America Fund since the program launched in October 2007. All full-time U.S.-based employees can designate up to $300 annually to donate to a charity of their choice, with no matching funds required.

BP employees have made Fabric of America Fund donations to nonprofit organizations in all 50 states and more than 3,000 cities and towns. In 2012 alone, employees have given more than $1.79 million through the program to a wide range of organizations focused on health, education, poverty, technology and other important issues.

BP America created The Fabric of America Fund to empower employees to invest in the communities where they live, work and do business. The Fund enables employees to support organizations they strongly believe in, and encourages them to be an active part of the fabric of their local communities.


Rutter's Farm Stores, York, Pa., recently announced donations to seven central Pennsylvania charities totaling $172,000, bringing the company's year-to-date contributions to local charities to $412,000.

The YMCA of York, the YWCA of York, York Day Nursery, Hanover YWCA, Hanover YMCA, Easter Seals of Central Pennsylvania and the Jewish Community Center of York will all receive donations to continue their work, especially their work with children, in the communities they serve. The majority of the monies will be used to pay for need-based scholarships for children to attend early learning centers.


Love's Travel Stops, Oklahoma City, raised more than $1.5 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals across the country. The company set a new fundraising record during this year's five-week campaign.

More than 290 Love's locations nationwide contributed by selling paper donation hearts in the amounts of $1, $5, and $20. Many Love's stores also organized local events to raise money including bake sales, car washes, golf tournaments, motorcycle rallies, and grand prize raffles.

Kum & Go

Through the new "Drink good. Do good." campaign at West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go LC, coffee and cappuccino lovers can help buy toys for underprivileged children just by purchasing their favorite warm beverage. Kum & Go has committed to a minimum contribution of $100,000.

Oct. 1 through Dec. 7, Kum & Go will donate five cents for every hot beverage purchased. In addition, Kum & Go will donate $1 (up to $10,000) each time a customer "checks in" to a Kum & Go store through the free social app, foursquare. Customers can make additional monetary donations to Toys for Tots at Kum & Go stores, which will also serve as toy collection sites during the holiday season.

Aloha Petroleum

Aloha Petroleum Ltd., Honolulu, recently presented a check for more than $5,000 to the American Diabetes Association of Hawaii to support the organization's mission to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

During July and August, Aloha Petroleum helped raise a total of $5,467.67 for the ADA by setting up donation canisters at its Aloha Island Mart convenience stores on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. It also set up canisters at select Shell locations.

Pilot Flying J/Pilot Travel Centers

Pilot Flying J,Knoxville, Tenn., with some help from professional drivers across the nation, recently pledged to raise $100,000 to honor our fallen heroes by supporting Wreaths Across America (WAA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies each December at Arlington National Cemetery and nearly 800 additional veteran cemeteries and memorials across the country and overseas.

Pilot Flying J is asking professional drivers to join in its Cup with a Cause campaign in October-November to support WAA. For $4.99, drivers can purchase a special, limited-edition travel mug from any Pilot Travel Center or Flying J Travel Plaza. With every mug purchase, $3 will be donated to WAA.

Also, nearly 70 elected officials and media personalities recently helped Pilot support the United Way of Greater Knoxville during the annual Pilot Celebrity Pumpers event. These celebrities pumped gasoline for customers during the three-day event. Pilot donated five cents for every gallon of gasoline sold and 10 cents for every dollar of in-store sales at all Knox County locations to the United Way of Greater Knoxville.


NOCO, Buffalo, N.Y., recently donated $45,000 to the Buffalo Zoo as part of a three-year commitment in support of the Sea Lion Cove, an exhibit NOCO has supported since 2005. The Sea Lion Cove is home of the Zoo's California sea lions, Dallas and Pocus. Dallas and Pocus live in a 150,000 gallon saltwater tank and are Buffalo's only resident sea lions. Also, Donald Newman, family patriarch and former NOCO president, donates annually to the Buffalo Zoo and has contributed significantly to the new polar bear exhibit currently under construction.

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