CHICAGO —August’s community service roundup includes seven convenience stores and six suppliers.
From support for flood victims to campaigns for education grants, this month was full of strong efforts from convenience stores and suppliers to help charities and the community.
Click through to read about the industry's charitable efforts this August …
Casey’s General Stores
Casey’s General Stores, Ankeny, Iowa, held a round up at the register campaign to help fund its annual Cash for Classrooms Grant Program, which provides funds for projects and initiatives that benefit K-12 public and nonprofit private schools in the communities Casey’s serves.
In 2022, Casey’s grant program has awarded $1 million to benefit schools through 89 grants. The funding priorities included a variety of projects focused on physical improvements, material needs, teacher support and community engagement initiatives.
Every dollar raised from guests and the round up campaign will go toward the Cash for Classrooms Grant Program, which is accepting applications through Nov. 30. Grant requests may range from $3,000 to $50,000 and will be awarded in March 2023.
Double Kwik, a unit of Childers Oil Co. based in Whitesburg, Ky., responded to the fatal flooding in eastern Kentucky, southern West Virginia and western Virginia by transforming its distribution center into an unloading and reloading zone for relief deliveries.
The flooding happened after eight to 10.5 inches of rain fell in 48 hours. Whitesburg was hit particularly hard by the historic flooding. The town's Big Sandy River, normally 10 feet wide and ankle deep, devastated the area for 60 miles once it crested at 20.9 feet.
Denver, Co.-based Alta Convenience raised more than $36,000 for Wings for Life, a non-profit that raises money for spinal cord research. Customers were encouraged to purchase paper wings to be posted around the store with their name on it.
Discoveries made by Dr. Sam David in 1981 and Dr. Martin Schwab in the early 1990s showed that injured nerve cells in the spinal cord could in fact regenerate after specific types of treatment. However, spinal cord injury research is grossly underfunded since paralysis is not as common as other injuries. This realization prompted Heinz Kinigadner and Dietrich Mateschitz to set up the Wings for Life research foundation with the goal of finding cures and improving the quality of life for all people suffering from traumatic spinal injury.
Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores
Oklahoma City, Okla.-based Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores donated $100,000 to the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund. This is the third year the company has given to the organization that helps professional truck drivers and their families during difficult times.
“Professional truck drivers are essential to the country’s success, and Love’s can’t think of a better way to say ‘thank you’ than supporting them during difficult times,’’ said Jenny Love Meyer, executive vice president and chief culture officer of Love’s. “St. Christopher is a great organization that helps drivers every day, and we’re glad to continue to support the organization.”
Love’s also began accepting donations for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals throughout the country. Through September, customers can purchase a paper balloon for $1, $5 or $20, round up or donate at the register at every Love’s Travel Stop, Country Store, Love’s-owned hotel and participating Speedco locations.
Wawa, based in Wawa, Pa., opened Wawa Station in Baltimore Pike, Pa., a terminus for Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) trains on the completed Media/Wawa Regional Rail Line.
- Click here to watch the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The project restored more than 3.5 miles of regional rail service to Delaware County. SEPTA trains last served the area in 1986. The collaboration furthers SEPTA’s commitment to generating new sources of revenue, which is critical to ensure it can continue to recover from the pandemic.
“From the Hub of Hope to our new SEPTA Key Advantage program, Wawa has supported so many of SEPTA’s service and community-building initiatives,” said SEPTA General Manager and CEO Leslie Richards. “We look forward to launching this new service and improving transportation options for those living and working in Middletown Township, Chester Heights and surrounding communities.”
The new Wawa Station building is fully ADA accessible with a pedestrian underpass and restroom facilities. It features a 600-space parking deck and access to bus routes.
“Wawa is thrilled to partner with SEPTA to relaunch the Media/Wawa Line and provide our friends and neighbors a convenient way to travel from Wawa, Pa., to Center City Philadelphia and all stops in between,” said Wawa President and CEO Chris Gheysens. “Located across from the Wawa Dairy that has been bottling and distributing milk for more than 100 years and adjacent to our home office campus, this rail line has meant a lot to Wawa and to our founding family throughout the years. We cannot wait to celebrate its return and look forward to being a part of new history through this new station.”
This rail line played a critical role in Wawa’s history and growth. In 1903, one year after George Wood founded the Wawa Dairy, the Pennsylvania Railroad opened a station at 32nd and Market Streets in Philadelphia, then known as the West Philadelphia Depot. Soon after, Wood had a local architect design a “Milk Depot” across the street at 32nd Street and Woodland Avenue, which served as an office and distribution center. This enabled Wawa milk to be quickly and easily transported from the dairy farm to the city via the train station. After arriving at the Milk Depot, Wawa milk could then be delivered directly to customers throughout the area.
Styve Foods, an air-dried meat snacks brand based in Plano, Texas, partnered with Folds of Honor, a nonprofit organization that provides academic scholarships to the children and spouses of America's fallen and disabled service members.
Stryve Foods displayed a patriotic badge across its packaging to increase awareness in support of a worthy cause so that the families of fallen and disabled service members have access to academic funding.
Since 2007, Folds of Honor has awarded more than 35,000 scholarships for K-12 and higher education.
Constellation Brands, Victor, New York, revealed its two-year donation commitment of $700,000 to The Nature Conservatory (TNC). Constellation Brands aims to benefit watersheds in California communities where the company operates.
The company donated $200,000 of the total amount in February 2022, and TNC used it to support its broader Global Resilient Watersheds program, which is focused on making watershed health a priority by investing in nature-based solutions.
TNC will leverage the remaining $500,000 donation over two years in support of its water management programs in California.
Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, provided more than 100,000 cans of emergency drinking water to the victims of severe flooding in Hazard, Ky.
“The American Red Cross is grateful for Anheuser-Busch’s generous donation of drinking water for those impacted by the flooding in Kentucky,” said Debbie Ranier, executive director of the American Red Cross in Eastern Kentucky. “We are thankful for Anheuser-Busch’s ability to quickly provide life sustaining water for disaster impacted communities.”
Molson Coors, Chicago, donated $1.5 million in grants to communities across North America through its Project Justice initiative.
The company announced that it is recommitting its support of Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) organizations dedicated to equity, empowerment, justice and community building.
Formed after the protests and civil unrest in the United States in 2020, Project Justice has cumulatively invested $4.5 million in dozens of nonprofit and community organizations. This year, Project Justice is earmarking more than $500,000 in completion grants that will enable students from underserved communities with unmet financial needs to finish their college degrees, according to the company.
The American Licorice Co.
The American Licorice Co., parent company of Torie & Howard, La Porte, Ind., partnered with 1% For the Planet, which serves to fund non-profit organizations that are working to preserve our shared environment.
Through the 1% For the Planet non-profit network, Torie & Howard and the American Licorice Co. partnered with Rodale Institute and Flanner House, two organizations seeking to empower future young farmers.
The Alkaline Water Co.
The Alkaline Water Co. Inc., based in Scottsdale, Ariz., donated more than 31,000 pounds of water to the greater Las Vegas community. With the help of The Shaquille O’Neil Foundation and Three Square Food Bank, the water was donated from a commercial shoot that the company did with Shaquille O’Neil.