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NATIONAL REPORT -- Giving back through community service efforts and charity donations is a positive force that keeps many retailers and suppliers of this industry moving ahead. On a regular basis, Convenience Store News highlights these philanthropic efforts in this special section.
Here are the latest company spotlights:
Alon Brands Inc.
Alon Brands launched a fall fundraising campaign for the United Service Organization (USO). Throughout November and December, ALON 7-Eleven stores across Texas and New Mexico will collect customer donations at the counter to raise money for the USO, a private, nonprofit organization that lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families.
This fundraising effort is a part of a biannual campaign that Alon Brands started in the fall of 2007. To date, the company has raised more than half a million dollars for the USO.
Chevron contributed $1.5 million to the American Red Cross to provide disaster relief assistance to Philippine communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
Chevron is one of the largest investors in the Philippines and has done business in the country for more than 90 years. The company currently employs more than 1,600 employees there and has operations in geothermal, gas to power, shared services and a fuels and lubricants business in the Philippines.
CITGO Petroleum Corp.
CITGO, along with its Michigan marketers Barrick Enterprises and Knight Enterprises, came together to support the Eight Mile Boulevard Association’s (8MBA) ninth annual golf outing, held in September in Livonia, Mich. The event raised money to clean up the area along Detroit’s Eight Mile Boulevard.
CITGO marketers in the Detroit area have supported 8MBA for many years, including participating in the organization’s annual "Clean the D" event.
In other company news, Channelside CITGO, owned and operated by J.H. Williams Oil Co. Inc. in Tampa, Fla., raised funds for Tye Kelly, the 6-year-old grandson of accounting clerk Joyce Sandy. The boy has mitochondrial disease, a muscle disease, and microcephaly, a neurodevelopmental disorder. Because of these conditions, he can't control his muscles or use his arms and legs.
His parents needed a van to accommodate Tye's wheelchair when he goes to physical therapy and doctor’s appointments. That's where CITGO and J.H. Williams stepped in. Through the "Ride for Tye" campaign, customers at the Channelside CITGO station gave $4,357 through donations and sponsorships. These funds, combined with donations from CITGO, J.H. Williams and other corporate donors, totaled more than $14,000, enough money to purchase a new van for the family.
The Pantry Inc.
Four North Carolina-based military support organizations got a boost from The Pantry, receiving more than $770,000 of the money raised during its annual Salute Our Troops campaign. The organizations include the USO of North Carolina, the Patriot Foundation, the Soldiers and Airmen Assistance Fund, and the U.S. Veterans Corps. Each has a strong presence on Fort Bragg or in the region.
The summer-long Salute Our Troops campaign, held at The Pantry’s Kangaroo Express convenience stores, raised nearly $2.7 million this year by asking customers across 13 states to make donations. More than 1,550 Kangaroo Express stores participated in the campaign, which has raised a total of $8.4 million since its inception three years ago.
In other Kangaroo Express news, the chain is inviting customers at 103 of its stores in the Chattanooga, Cleveland, Nashville, Huntsville and North Georgia areas to donate to its second-annual “Kash for Kids” campaign in support of Junior Achievement, a nonprofit organization that brings the real world to students through hands-on curriculum delivered by trained classroom volunteers.
From Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, Kangaroo Express is rallying store guests to make donations in support of the Kash for Kids fundraiser, encouraging the local community to help young people learn the importance of staying in school and develop the competitive skills and confidence needed to succeed in the 21st-century global marketplace.
This Veteran’s Day, all Sheetz stores sold IAVA (Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America) car magnets as a fundraiser for the organization, which is the first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. All proceeds from the sale of the magnets were donated to IAVA.
Sheetz officials said they partnered with IAVA because they recognize that many veterans are Sheetz customers, and the company wanted to make a difference in their lives, thereby supporting the IAVA’s work helping veterans with job placement, health care, acquiring military benefits, going back to school, housing and other types of assistance.