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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:
Casey’s General Stores Inc.
Through the month of April, Casey’s General Stores offered a special “Dog Tag” promotion to raise funds and awareness for service members and military families through Hope For The Warriors. Casey’s customers could purchase a dog tag for $1 and the convenience store operator displayed them throughout its stores.
This is the fifth year Casey's has supported Hope For The Warriors and the third year of the popular "Dog Tag" promotion. Last year's promotion raised more than $800,000. To date, Casey's has donated more than $3 million to the nonprofit. The donations support programs in clinical health and wellness, sports and recreation, community and military relations, and transition services.
GPM Investments LLC
Richmond, Va.-based GPM Investments donated nearly $130,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project as part of its ongoing support of the organization.
"After donating to this worthy organization in 2014 and seeing the amazing amount of good they do, we made it a point to continue donating to this cause,” said Bill Reilly, senior vice president of marketing for GPM. “We feel our support of this organization ignites a patriotic passion and appreciation within our sales associates. Donating funds to honor and provide for our troops simultaneously supports our employees, our customers and our community.”
To assist those in need in its local community during the cold winter months, NOCO Express launched the Code Blue fundraising campaign at its 31 western New York stores. The program benefited Buffalo City Mission, a nonprofit that provides preventative, emergency and transitional programs to the homeless and impoverished.
From Feb. 16-18, NOCO customers donated $7,148 by purchasing Code Blue paper snowflakes. NOCO then matched the contribution for a total donation of $14,296 to the Buffalo City Mission. In addition, five NOCO Express locations served as collection points where people could donate winter coats, cold-weather clothing, gloves and socks.
Code Blue is term used when temperatures in Buffalo, N.Y., drop to 32 degrees or lower. At that time, the Buffalo City Mission opens its doors to provide shelter, clothing and hot meals for anyone, but especially for the chronically homeless who normally do not reside in shelters.
Now through June 1 at participating Qik-N-EZ stores, customers receive 50 cents off every gallon of Prairie Farms milk they purchase through a partnership between the gas station operator, the Central Illinois Food Bank and Prairie Farms. With every purchase, another 50 cents goes to the Central Illinois Food Bank to help purchase milk for struggling families.
Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based QuickChek was a sponsor of the sixth annual "Precinct Cops Who Care" charity bike tour to raise funds for local military veterans. More than 300 riders, including a team of QuickChek executives and store personnel, took part in a 25-mile or 30-mile ride on April 24. The main beneficiary was Hope For The Warriors, a nonprofit whose mission is to enhance the quality of life for post-9/11 service members, their families and families of those whose lives were lost.
In other community service news, QuickChek joined the “Stuff a Truck” food drive in partnership with New York State Sen. Michael Venditto and the Long Island Cares food bank to aid area families in need. The c-store chain donated personal care items to support the ongoing need of local residents who struggle to supply basic requirements for their families. Overall, the event collected 1,850 pounds of food and supplies.