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DALLAS — 7-Eleven Inc. is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Operation Chill, an incentive program that "tickets" youths with a free Slurpee voucher for doing good.
Through Operation Chill, officers from participating local police and sheriff departments can hand out a special free-Slurpee citation during the summer and back-to-school season to any youth caught in the act of doing good. Appropriate “offenses” include anything from helping another person, to deterring crime, to participating in a positive activity in the community.
Each coupon can be redeemed for a small Slurpee drink at participating 7-Eleven convenience stores.
"I don't know who likes the Operation Chill program more, police officers or kids," said Mark Stinde, 7-Eleven's asset protection vice president. "Police officers have told us they love to approach kids and surprise them with a Slurpee coupon, just for being good citizens."
7-Eleven developed Operation Chill in Philadelphia in 1995 to reward and encourage good behavior in kids during the summer months, when communities often experience a rise in loitering, shoplifting and graffiti. The program also sought to support law enforcement agencies’ community relations projects. Operation Chill started to give officers a positive reason to interact with children and teens.
Since the program’s inception, nearly 14 million coupons have been given to law enforcement agencies across the country where 7-Eleven operates stores to award to kids in their communities.
7-Eleven will distribute up to 1.25 million Operation Chill coupons to approximately 885 local law enforcement agencies this year. Cities participating in this year's program include Los Angeles; New York; Chicago; San Diego; San Francisco; Orlando and Tampa, Fla.; Dallas; Denver; and Las Vegas. A full list of participating agencies can be found here.
"For 20 years, Operation Chill has been rewarding kids for their good behavior being positive role models," said Nancy Lear, senior manager, corporate social responsibility and community relations for 7-Eleven. "Kids especially need to be recognized when they're caught making the right or a good decision, not just when they mess up. Every year, more law enforcement agencies learn how Operation Chill helps community policing and interaction with their youngest citizens and have signed up. We hope they and 7-Eleven can reach new generations with this frozen treat for years to come."
Dallas-based 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses nearly 10,500 convenience stores in North America. Approximately 750,000 Slurpee drinks are purchased each day during the summer at 7-Eleven stores across the country.