WESTBOROUGH, Mass. -- Charity plays a big role at Cumberland Farms, which focuses its efforts on local causes. “We have a very important responsibility in the communities where we operate, not just to do business there, but to be contributing members of the community,” says CEO Ari Haseotes, CSP's 2017 Retail Leader of the Year.
Its biggest charitable efforts include:
Hope Fund. This emergency financial assistance program helps Cumberland Farms employees who are facing a financial need, whether it be repairing a home damaged by flooding, providing a funeral for a loved one or helping with electrical bills during a tough time. The fund has grown to $175,000, thanks to donations from employees, which are matched by Cumberland Farms.
“The company is going to be very generous, but we’d like to see fellow teammates step up as well,” Ari says. “That builds a sense of camaraderie and pride, and togetherness and connectedness.”
Cups for Kids. In 2011, Cumberland Farms launched Cups for Kids, a fundraising campaign that raises money for pediatric programs at local hospitals. For the 2017 campaign, Cumberland Farms donated 5 cents from every iced coffee and Chill Zone beverage sold in August to five Northeast hospitals. In five years, it has donated more than $520,000.
“It allows us to build a connection locally or regionally with a hospital,” Ari says. “That means a lot to those communities and to the guests we’re serving in those communities. It means a lot to the team members in those communities who are working in those stores every day, that we’re giving back to causes that are relevant, directly to those in need in their market areas.”
Believe & Achieve Scholarship. Since 2007, Cumberland Farms has awarded more than $1.1 million in scholarships, or $130,000 per year, to high school seniors who live within 30 miles of a Cumberland Farms store. In 2017, the chain gave out $1,000 scholarships to more than 130 students. The company also names a Haseotes Scholar Award to the student who best represents the company values of hard work, community service and achievement.
The Haseoteses’ One Mission. When Ari and Ashley’s son was a baby, he was diagnosed with cancer. It was a tough time for the family, filled with fear and long hospital visits. After their son recovered, the Haseoteses started One Mission, a charity that supports families in a similar situation. “We pay for them to park, help to feed them, because it’s expensive when you have a kid in the hospital,” says Ashley, who oversees the charity. One Mission also provides toys and games to children in the hospital, and it has recently launched Heart to Heart, a group that lets parents connect and commiserate about the stresses of having a seriously ill, hospitalized child.