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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:
Aloha Petroleum Ltd.
Honolulu, Hawaii-based Aloha Petroleum — one of the largest gasoline marketers and convenience store operators in the state of Hawaii — donated $10,000 to the Polynesian Voyaging Society, a nonprofit organization that seeks to revive traditional exploration through educating students and communities.
Aloha raised the funds in November and December through its ongoing canister collection program at participating Aloha Island Mart stores statewide, and then the company matched the donations raised.
In addition, Aloha spotlighted the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s voyaging canoe, the Hokule’a, as the featured subject of its 2016 Mug Design Contest. Since 1988, the retailer has distributed specially designed, Hawaiian-themed coffee mugs to employees, customers, vendors and other key partners as holiday gifts.
Circle K Stores Inc.
Circle K partnered with Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination and local law enforcement in Louisiana to host a “Gas for Guns” exchange. The no-questions-asked gun buyback program offered gas coupons of between $50 and $300 in value in exchange for each qualifying handgun or assault weapon traded in.
During the exchange program, any functional, non-replica pistol or revolver smaller than 0.380 caliber could be exchanged for a $50 gas card, while pistols of 0.380 caliber or greater could be swapped for a $100 gas card. A $300 gas card was offered for each “assault-style” rifle as long as they are a functional variant of an automatic or semi-automatic rifle that is currently in use by military forces with a caliber of 9 mm, 7.62 mm or 5.56 mm.
CST Brands Inc.
CST Brands, parent company of Corner Store convenience stores, announced dates and venues for its third-annual 2016 Corner Store Country Run. A complete schedule can be found here.
Net proceeds of this year’s Country Run series will again benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters, as well as local children’s charities. Over the past two years, Corner Store's Country Run has raised a net total of $2.6 million for Big Brothers Big Sisters in the United States and Canada, as well as local children’s charities in each of the 10 race markets.
For this year’s program, participants will have the option to raise more funds from their friends and family for the race beneficiaries. Additional revenues will come from participant registrations, corporate sponsors, and Corner Store customers who donate at the register in participating locations.
Kwik Trip Inc.
La Crosse, Wis.-based Kwik Trip donated many critical items to the Veterans Assistance Foundation Inc. for a new veterans’ coffee shop opening in downtown Tomah, Wis.
Donated items included booths, tables, chairs, coffee makers, counters, glass cases and coolers, which were donated in excellent condition and came from Kwik Trip store or Hearty Platter restaurant remodeling projects.
Kum & Go LC
For the third consecutive year, Kum & Go partnered with Habitat for Humanity for a national campaign, in which the c-store operator committed a $210,000 corporate gift to the organization, as well as distributed several grants to the organization’s offices. Grants were based on which Kum & Go service areas raised the most money through customer traffic.
From March 1-31, customers participated in in-store fundraising by adding a $1 donation to their in-store purchases and receiving a $1 off coupon for any whole pizza, or purchasing Kum & Go water from which 10 cents per bottle was donated to Habitat for Humanity. Through their donations, Kum & Go customers helped select the community where Kum & Go will sponsor the construction of a new Habitat home.
In the last two years, Kum & Go and its customers have contributed nearly $1 million to Habitat for Humanity. Two Kum & Go-sponsored homes have been built, in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Minot, N.D.
The United Family
To celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary, The United Family will donate $100,000 to local schools throughout west Texas, Dallas-Fort Worth and eastern New Mexico as part of its Shop to Support Schools program.
Now through Oct. 15, customers may link a school of their choice to their rewards account at any United Supermarkets, United Express, Market Street, Albertsons Market or Amigos grocery location and earn points as they shop.
At the end of the earnings period, The United Family will award $1,000 to 100 schools based on the percentage of each school’s shopping activity.