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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 will highlight these philanthropic efforts in this special section.
Here are the latest company spotlights:
The Pantry's Kangaroo Express
Kangaroo Express, The Pantry Inc.'s convenience store brand, delivered a $233,426 check to Give Kids the World in Kissimmee, Fla. The check was the culmination of a fundraiser held throughout the state. Customers donated to Give Kids the World either by donating change or buying a $1 or $5 pinup to hang in one of Kangaroo Express' 400 Florida convenience stores.
Give Kids the World provides week-long vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families, including a place to stay and theme park tickets.
For the second consecutive year, SuperAmerica has been named the top fundraising sponsor for the Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare. In 2011, the convenience store chain raised $724,758.12 for Gillette, Minnesota's designated Children's Miracle Network Hospital.
A longtime Children's Miracle Network Hospitals sponsor, SuperAmerica's more than 166 participating stores raise funds for Gillette through year-round events, including cookouts, sports tournaments and gas-a-thons. Weeklong "ask" campaigns, held once each quarter, supplement fundraising efforts. During the campaigns, employees ask customers to either make a cash donation or round their purchase up to the next dollar.
Stores' combined efforts have raised more than $3,115,000 for Gillette in the last 13 years, funding treatments and services for children who have disabilities and complex medical conditions.
The ExxonMobil Foundation is collaborating with National Engineers Week for the ninth consecutive year to present "Introduce a Girl to Engineering," where ExxonMobil employees will host students at 13 company locations across the country. The program seeks to promote curiosity among middle school students and help shrink the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
ExxonMobil employees will lead fun, hands-on activities that connect math and science to real life, while also reinforcing classroom instruction. Activities may include demonstrations on how the energy industry uses 3D technology to search for oil and natural gas; water purification experiments; bridge-building with straws; exploring the science of manufacturing cosmetics; and panel discussions with ExxonMobil engineers.
Since ExxonMobil began the program more than a decade ago, more than 4,000 students have participated in math and science activities conducted at ExxonMobil facilities, or had a classroom visit from a company volunteer.
In other ExxonMobil Foundation news, 30 North Texas nonprofit agencies will participate in the 2012 ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Program. The program provides much-needed assistance to nonprofit agencies while giving college students valuable work experience and a better understanding of the important role of nonprofit organizations.
Paid summer internship positions involve students in a range of activities, from coordinating housing for area residents to developing summer programs for underprivileged children. In addition to daily internship duties, students will also team up for a group service project. Qualified college students interested in gaining hands-on experience in the nonprofit sector this summer are encouraged to apply.
To be eligible, applicants must be current undergraduate students returning to college as a full-time (minimum 12 credit hours per semester) sophomore, junior or senior in the fall of 2012.
Since 1990, the ExxonMobil Foundation has contributed more than $3.7 million to fund the program in Dallas, subsidizing 1,535 internships and benefitting more than 300 agencies.