Special Coverage: Wawa Launches $50-Million Fundraising Effort

Convenience store chain establishes non-profit foundation

Wawa Convenience Stores establish The Wawa Foundation

WAWA, Pa. -- Wawa Inc. is committing $50 million to charity over the next five years with the founding of The Wawa Foundation.

The convenience store chain will christen the new non-profit organization next week during one of its two in-store parties celebrating of the 50th anniversary of opening the first Wawa c-store.

"The event will conclude with the announcement of The Wawa Foundation, a new entity founded by Wawa to support Wawa’s charitable giving and philanthropic activities," the company stated. "The Wawa Foundation’s purpose is to fulfill lives every day, by building stronger communities."

Over the next five years, Wawa and The Wawa Foundation have committed $50 million to support causes related to the Foundation’s three key areas of focus: health, hunger and everyday heroes. The Wawa Foundation will be a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation (The Wawa Foundation Inc.’s non-profit status is pending approval by the Internal Revenue Service) and give Wawa an even greater opportunity to positively enrich and impact the communities it serves.

To start the foundation off right, Wawa will on Wednesday, April 16, present a check for $50,000 to Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter to benefit the Philadelphia Summer Youth Job Program. Further, all proceeds from the sale of former president and CEO Howard Stoeckel's new book "The Wawa Way" will benefit The Wawa Foundation

“ 'The Wawa Way' is not simply a motto, a slogan or the title of a business book; it’s a way of life, a guide for valuing people, and a road map for building longstanding community relationships," Stoeckel said. "So it’s no coincidence that on the occasion of our 50th anniversary, this book becomes a reality. Our goal has never been to simply meet expectations; we take pride in what we do and have an unwavering compassion for our fellow associates and customers alike. Every day we strive to exceed expectations, and ultimately fulfill customers’ lives."

The Wawa Foundation will focus its giving in three main areas:

  • Health: Wawa will provide funding to organizations committed to saving and improving lives in the communities Wawa serves. Specifically, we support those dedicated to the care and treatment of families and children in Wawa’s areas of operation.
  • Hunger: Wawa is committed to playing a leading role in hunger relief in the communities Wawa serves. The c-store chain does this by creating food access for Americans struggling with hunger through partnerships with regional suppliers and local food banks.
  • Everyday Heroes: Wawa is passionate about supporting and celebrating everyday heroes, such as crisis responders, members of the military and veterans. This is Wawa's way of thanking the men and women who respond, serve and keep our communities safe.

Wawa, through The Wawa Foundation, will distribute three types of grants: local, state and national to ensure its commitment travels from the local communities to the regional footprint Wawa occupies in the Mid-Atlantic and central Florida.

Fundraising efforts will include annual in-store collections. Every year, Wawa customers contribute millions to causes supporting local communities that Wawa serves, according to the company. Donating is made easy through donation boxes and point-scan materials with pre-set amounts in Wawa stores.

Part of CSP's 2014 Convenience Top 101 retailers