CHICAGO — Convenience stores found multiple ways to give back this holiday season, from secret Santa programs to rewarding employees with money to donate to a charity in their community.
This month’s roundup includes six retailers and two manufacturers who donated to their communities this season.
Rutter’s, York, Pa., rewarded its excellent employees with $1,000 to donate to the charity of their choice this past holiday season, according to the company.
“Donating to local programs and charities is always top of mind for us. This program is our way of supporting causes that our employees feel connected to, in the area,” said Scott Hartman, Rutter’s CEO.
The chain donated $50,000 in 2019 through its Secret Santa Program, and it has donated more than $130,000 since the program’s inception in 2016.
GPM Investments, Richmond, Va., throughout the month of December took part in its Tis the Season for Giving holiday campaign to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The c-store chain has contributed more than $1.2 million since 2012 in support of MDA’s mission of helping people with muscular dystrophy, ALS and other neuromuscular diseases.
GMP associates sold MDA holiday pinups for $1 each throughout the month and invited customers to round their purchase up to the nearest whole dollar.
This year, Stripes worked with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to raise more than $720,000 for cancer research.
Stripes’ in-store campaign raised money, $1 at a time, in its Texas and Louisiana locations for its Stripes Stores Celebrates Tomorrows fundraiser.
Stripes c-stores are owned by Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven.
Weigel’s, Powell, Tenn., celebrated its 22nd anniversary of Weigel’s Family Christmas in December. The event brought together 238 local children in need and more than 300 volunteers for a Christmas shopping spree.
Teaming with the Salvation Army, the convenience-store operator gave children ages 5 to 8 from Knoxville and the surrounding area $150 to shop at Target. The program has helped more than 4,200 children since 1998.
Casey’s General Stores
Casey’s General Stores’ Here for the Holidays campaign gave its customers and a local nonprofit organization the chance to win $1,000 every time someone placed an online order through the company’s website or mobile application.
Every customer who ordered a Casey’s item online through Dec. 31 was entered into the sweepstakes, which limited entries to one a day. Twelve customers could win $1,000, and Casey’s will donate another $1,000 to a nonprofit in the winner’s community.
The senior vice president of operations for Casey’s General Stores, Ankeny, Iowa, is also taking part in charitable activities. Retired Army Lt. Col. Jay Soupene recently joined the 10-member Hope for the Warriors board of directors. Hope for the Warriors is a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope for post-9/11 veterans, service members and military families.
Sheetz held its 27th annual December donation drive for Sheetz for the Kidz, which helps make the holiday season brighter for underprivileged children in the communities Sheetz serves, according to the Altoona, Pa.-based chain.
Through December, customers could support children in their local communities through donation boxes near the register and by adding donations to their purchases. Each of Sheetz’s 597 stores supported 16 local children. Employees volunteered their time to shop for and wrap gifts, and to host holiday parties for the children and their families.
Frito-Lay, Plano, Texas, partnered with Feed the Children to provide El Paso, Texas, families with food and daily essentials to supplement meals for a week.
The distribution event to help fight childhood hunger occurred Dec. 10 at Destiny Family Church in El Paso.
Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo, and Feed the Children have provided more than 88,000 U.S. families with everyday care items and food since 2010.
GSP, Clearwater, Fla., is donating to 20 charities chosen by its customers. The nonprofits selected range form disaster relief to children’s health to veteran’s assistance and more. Organizations include American Red Cross, No Kid Hungry and United Cerebral Palsy.
“It’s an honor to help support so many wonderful causes,” said Kevin Farley, COO of the company, which provides retail services and solutions. “We’re privileged to contribute gifts to charities our customers are passionate about. Providing comfort and hope to others around the holiday season is just our way of saying thanks to our customers for another year of partnership.”
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