MOORE, Okla.-- Several convenience store chains have pledged to help the rebuilding efforts following the devastating tornado that killed 24 people in the town of Moore, Okla., earlier this week.
The tornado was categorized as an EF5 on the Fujita Scale and registered 210-mile-per-hour winds. As CSNews Online reported, the tornado destroyed a local 7-Eleven Inc. store.
One of the c-store retailers stepping up to help in long-term relief efforts is Oklahoma City-based Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores, which pledged $3 million. The first $1 million will be designated to the OK Strong Relief Fund established by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin. The fund was created in partnership with the United Way of Oklahoma and will meet the long-term needs of victims.
The operator of more than 300 travel stops, including 63 in Oklahoma, will donate an additional $500,000 to Catholic Charities and the remaining $1.5 million will fund a benefit event to honor those impacted by the storm and to raise additional relief funds.
"Our company has been engrained in the fabric of Oklahoma since 1964," said Tom Love, chairman and CEO of Love's. "Our hearts are saddened by the news of this tragedy affecting so many of our friends and neighbors. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and all those impacted by this horrific event."
Other c-store chains doing their part to support the relief efforts are:
- Wawa Inc. is teaming up with CBS TV and radio stations in Philadelphia to raise money for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. On-air TV personalities will take part in "Operation Brotherly Love" today and will encourage viewers and listeners to donate $10 to the Red Cross by texting REDCROSS to 90999. Wawa, Pa.-based Wawa operates 595 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and Florida.
- Amarillo, Texas-based Toot'n Totum established a local Oklahoma relief fund by donating $10,000 to the cause. Customers are encouraged to make donations at all Toot'n Totum stores in Amarillo, Borger, Dalhart, Dumas, Pampa and Stratford through May 31. The c-store chain operates 71 stores across the Texas panhandle.
- Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey's General Stores Inc. is encouraging its customers to donate to the American Red Cross. The operator of 1,735 stores is accepting donations at all of its Midwest locations.
- Irving, Texas-based ExxonMobil Corp. will donate $500,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. "We extend our heartfelt sympathies to all who have been impacted by the devastating tornadoes," said Rex W. Tillerson, ExxonMobil's chairman and CEO. "It is our hope that our donation to the Red Cross will help in this very difficult time."
- Maverik Inc. took to social media to express its sincerest sympathy to the victims. The Salt Lake City-based c-store chain will donate $1 for every customer donation of 100 Trail Points, which is what Maverik Adventure Club loyalty program cardholders accumulate following purchases. "Maverik's thoughts and prayers go out to those who have suffered and lost everything, including loved ones, in the harsh storms and tornadoes that have devastated parts of Oklahoma. Please help us send aid to these victims," Maverik posted on Facebook.