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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.
As part of its ongoing canister collection program at statewide participating Aloha Island Mart stores, Aloha Petroleum Ltd., on behalf of its customers, recently donated $4,417.76 to Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii.
Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii serves the Aloha State through its community-based mentoring and school-based mentoring programs.
The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring one-to-one relationships.
The Anheuser-Busch Foundation made a $250,000 donation to Colorado State University's (CSU) newly developed Fermentation Science and Technology program. The gift will fund the renovation of academic space and the hands-on laboratory at CSU. Launched in the fall of 2013, CSU's Fermentation Science and Technology program is the first of its kind in the region and just the third of its kind in the country.
Brewing experts from Anheuser-Busch have already met with students in the classroom and discussed the growing field of fermentation science. They also view the partnership as a way to continue fostering connections with the local Fort Collins community.
The Hershey Co.
The Hershey Co. and USA Track & Field (USATF) launched a national youth activity initiative as part of a new, seven-year partnership that features “Run Jump Throw,” an educational and learning program developed by USATF and Hershey. The new program will introduce kids aged 7 to 12 to the basic skills of running, jumping and throwing through track and field.
Hershey’s Track & Field Games, a youth track and field program launched in the 1970s, will transition to the national Run Jump Throw program. “We are thrilled to bring Hershey on board as a long-term partner and are excited about the work we will do together in the youth activity space”
Launching in early 2015, Run Jump Throw will use a curriculum developed by USATF. Kids around the country will have the opportunity to participate in fun, hands-on learning events designed to build basic running, jumping and throwing skills. The program is at the center of a larger partnership between USATF and Hershey that extends through 2020.
Kum & Go LC
Kum & Go and its customers will donate more than $450,000 to Habitat for Humanity International, thanks to the success of the convenience retailer’s “Let’s Build a Home Together” project. Kum & Go’s $100,000 corporate donation, an additional donation estimated at $100,000 to sponsor the home, and $262,000 in customer donations will be combined to reach the $450,000-plus campaign total.
In March, Kum & Go became a national partner of Habitat for Humanity and invited customers to add a $1 donation to their in-store purchases to support Habitat’s mission of building homes, communities and hope. Kum & Go committed to sponsoring a Habitat for Humanity home in one of the communities where its 420 stores operate in 11 states. The affordable and eco-friendly home was to be built in the region collecting the most money in donations as a percentage of customer traffic through its stores.
Associates eager to win the Habitat home for their regions enthusiastically promoted the in-store fundraiser. Customers quickly responded by donating $100,000 — the goal for the entire month — in just nine days. As of March 31, customer contributions totaled more than $262,000, with all of the donations supporting Habitat for Humanity’s mission.
Stores in North Dakota collected the most donations per transaction to win the competition and secure a Habitat home for a low-income family in a state with an acute housing shortage due to the oil boom. Kum & Go associates throughout the region will have the opportunity to volunteer to help construct the home in Minot, N.D., in cooperation with the local Northern Lights Chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
NOCO Energy Corp.
NOCO employees collected more than 5,000 non-perishable food and toiletry items for the Food Bank of Western New York. In addition, the company matched the employee food drive with a donation of more than $2,000 worth of items. For one week, March 21-28, NOCO collected non-perishable donations from its seven offices/warehouses located throughout Western New York.
NOCO customers and employees also recently showed their support for a community member, Ben Sauer, a 4-year-old with an inoperable brain tumor, and his family, by raising a total of $8,441 during a recent Blue4Ben campaign. Ben's mother, Mindy, has been blogging about her family’s experience at blue4ben.com.
From March 19 through April 2, customers at local NOCO Express Stores were encouraged to donate $1 to the cause, raising a total of $7,534. Employees at NOCO’s corporate office also donated $907 by participating in two dress down/wear Blue4Ben days and purchasing Blue4Ben bracelets. NOCO’s donation will benefit Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s Pediatric Cancer Care Center.