Community Service Roundup February 2018: Initiatives by 7 Retailers

Kristina Peters, Associate Editor, CSP

community service

CHICAGO -- This community-service roundup features charitable efforts from seven convenience-store retailers, in addition to the California Independent Oil Marketers Association and Nature Valley granola bars.

Click through to read about these initiatives ...



Casey’s General Stores’ recent dog-tag campaign raised more than $670,000 for Hope For the Warriors, a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope for veterans, service members and military families. The Ankeny, Iowa-based retailer sold paper dog tags for $1 in November 2017 at its more than 1,900 stores. Also included in the donation was $15,000 from MillerCoors.



Houston-based CITGO Petroleum Corp., along with its marketers and retailers, raised more than $65,000 in 2017 through the installation of “Spirit Pumps” at participating CITGO stations across 29 states. The specially wrapped, branded fuel pumps were operational at different times throughout the year to raise money for a variety of education, charitable and community service programs. A percentage of sales was donated by the stations directly to the selected local organizations, and CITGO provided an additional monetary match to each organization.

FriendShip Food Stores

friendship food

FriendShip Food Stores and Beck Suppliers combined have donated more than $400,000 to charities and communities they serve in the past five years. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation was the leading recipient; FriendShip runs an annual poker run in conjunction with a paper tennis-shoe fundraiser at its retail stores, and it raised $32,000 for the foundation last year.

FriendShip Food Stores is operated by Beck Suppliers, a diverse and vertically integrated retail and wholesale petroleum marketer that distributes Marathon, Sunoco, BP and Shell motor fuels to independent retailers. The company is based in Fremont, Ohio.

Pilot Flying J

pilot flying j

Throughout February, Pilot Flying J and its network of travel centers and c-stores are holding several fundraising initiatives in support of the American Heart Association’s “Life Is Why We Give” campaign.

The Knoxville, Tenn.-based company is:

  • Offering special American Heart Association (AHA) red 16-ounce hot beverage cups that will be sold for an additional 10 cents. Pilot Flying J will match each 10-cent donation for a total contribution of 20 cents per cup going toward the campaign.
  • Selling paper heart icons for $1, $3 and $5. The full amount will be donated to AHA.
  • Offering customers the opportunity to round up their purchase to the nearest whole dollar. The full amount of each round-up will go toward AHA.
  • Allowing customers to donate online.


sheetz for the kidz

Sheetz for the Kidz, the employee-operated charitable arm of Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz, raised more than $618,000 during its annual December campaign through customer donations. The total is a record for Sheetz for the Kidz, exceeding last year’s campaign fundraising total by more than $34,000. One hundred percent of customer donations are used to directly support Sheetz for the Kidz programs, which provide support, hope, joy and happiness to children in need within the communities where Sheetz operates. 

VERC Enterprises


Duxbury, Mass.-based VERC Enterprises recently presented West Middle School in Andover, Mass., and Fiske Elementary School in Lexington, Mass., with checks for $500 each. The grants are made possible through the ExxonMobil Educational Alliance Program, which is funded by ExxonMobil Corp. and Global Partners LP and designed to provide local retailers an opportunity to invest in the future of their communities through educational grants to neighborhood schools.



Powell, Tenn.-based Weigel’s raised $20,500 for the Smoky Mountain Service Dogs’ More Wags for Warriors campaign. The two-week fundraising event at the chain’s 66 c-stores ended on Veterans Day. The funds raised will help Smoky Mountain Service Dogs build a larger training facility in Lenoir City, Tenn. The organization aims to enhance the physical and psychological quality of life for veterans with service-related disabilities through the training and placement of highly trained service dogs.



The California Independent Oil Marketers Association (CIOMA), Sacramento, Calif., gave more than $500,000 through scholarships and charity events in 2017. Each year, the CIOMA Memorial Scholarship Fund honors deserving students from across the state, and it gave more than $10,000 in financial assistance last year.

Also, CIOMA members raised more than $500,000 for charities such as the Special Olympics, Make-a-Wish Foundation and the Fuel Relief Fund.

Nature Valley

nature valley

A longtime supporter of America’s national parks, Nature Valley granola bars is partnering with the National Park Foundation (NPF). The partnership includes a three-year commitment and a donation of up to $3 million to the nonprofit. Fans of Nature Valley can help increase the donation by purchasing a six-count box of Nature Valley Oats & Honey granola bars. For every box purchased from March 1 to May 15, 2018, Nature Valley will donate 10 cents to NPF, for a total of up to $750,000.

Nature Valley is also encouraging consumers to participate in public national-park volunteer events and make additional donations to the National Park Foundation.

Nature Valley is part of the Minneapolis-based General Mills family of brands.

Have a community-service announcement of your own to share? Send related news to Kristina Peters at [email protected].