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    C-stores, Vendors Support Haiti Relief Efforts

    Fundraising and donation efforts continue to send aid to the earthquake-stricken country.

    NEW YORK -- The retail industry is coming out in full force, and encouraging consumers to do the same, in efforts to help the residents of Haiti recover from the devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit the country last week.

    Road Ranger, a chain of 85 convenience stores based in Rockford, Ill., teamed with the Salvation Army, which is collecting money for relief in Haiti, according to a report by area television station WREX. The Salvation Army's collection stands, which are usually set up during the holidays, will be in almost all of Road Ranger's 85 convenience stores. Change, dollars and checks are being accepted.

    On Twitter, 7-Eleven's 7ElevenCareer profile on Friday urged its Florida customers to donate through a regional American Red Cross canister campaign.

    Also Friday, ConocoPhillips announced it will contribute $1 million to the American Red Cross to assist in disaster relief efforts in Haiti. This assistance is in addition to contributions and volunteer efforts already being made by various employee groups at the company.

    "All of us at ConocoPhillips are deeply saddened by the loss of life and injuries resulting from the Haitian earthquake," Jim Mulva, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those impacted by this disaster. We hope that this contribution will help those most affected begin rebuilding their lives and communities."

    Meanwhile, cigar maker Altadis U.S.A. launched a fundraising initiative through its Montecristo Relief Organization, which initially donated $25,000 to Food For the Poor, a group in Haiti providing immediate assistance. In addition, the organization will match dollar for dollar the first $125,000 in contributions made by Altadis U.S.A. employees, customers, consumers and vendors, through Feb. 15.

    Contributions can be sent via check made payable to Food For the Poor to Montecristo Relief Organization, Haiti Earthquake Relief, c/o Altadis U.S.A., PO Box 407179, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33340-7166.

    The quake, which hit Tuesday, was estimated in published reports to have killed an estimated 50,000 people and left millions without access to food and housing.

    Last week, Wawa Inc. launched a chainwide, in-store crisis campaign designed to send aid to those affected by the earthquake. In partnership with the American Red Cross, the effort allows customers to help contribute to the disaster effort through $1 scannable UPC coupons, which can be added to purchases at the checkout.

    "Wawa has always had a strong commitment to providing crisis response and assisting those in need, and we've been partnering with the American Red Cross in these kinds of efforts for decades," Howard Stoeckel, Wawa president and CEO, said in a statement. "We have a long history of supporting the Red Cross that includes providing aid for Hurricanes Andrew, Katrina and Rita, the Midwestern Floods, the Asian Tsunamis and September 11th. We are committed to doing everything we can to assist in this recent disaster."

    All donations made through the campaign will be donated to the Red Cross International Response Fund and will be designated specifically for the current crisis in Haiti, the company stated. The campaign will run from Jan. 14 through Jan. 20, in all of Wawa's 570 stores throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

    "Wawa has been a committed partner to Red Cross relief efforts at home and abroad for many years," Tom Foley, CEO of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Red Cross, said in the statement. "We are grateful for their quick action on this tragedy in Haiti."

    In addition, Wawa will make a $20,000 donation to the Red Cross International Relief Fund.

    "We're constantly overwhelmed by the concern and generosity of our customers, who realize that through a small donation, they can help make a huge difference," said Stoeckel. "We have full confidence that our associates and customers will commit themselves to making this campaign a true success."

    The BusinessPundit.com blog also listed several other CPG companies and retailers taking action, including:

    -- Coca-Cola Fund: $1 million to the Red Cross.
    -- Rite Aid: $50,000 to the Red Cross.
    -- Target: $500,000 to the Red Cross.
    -- Kraft Foods: $25,000 to the American Red Cross.
    -- Campbell Soup Co.: Contributing at least $200,000.
    -- Walmart Stores Inc.: Donating $500,000 to Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti and sending prepackaged food kits valued at $100,000 to Haiti at the request of the Red Cross.
    -- ConAgra Foods: $100,000 to the International Red Cross Relief Fund.
    -- Kellogg Co.: $250,000 to the American Red Cross.

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