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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:
Anheuser-Busch provided 8,624 cases of emergency drinking water — or 206,976 cans — to the American Red Cross for use in relief efforts associated with a chemical spill on the Elk River near Charleston, W.Va., and weather-related concerns impacting the water supply of residents in Floyd County, Ky.
Four trucks loaded with emergency drinking water from Cartersville, Ga., were sent to three Anheuser-Busch wholesalers for distribution to their local American Red Cross operations. The American Red Cross then got the water to where it was most needed. The Anheuser-Busch wholesalers are Proud Eagle Distributing in South Charleston, W.Va., Eagle Distributing Co. in Huntington, W.Va., and Perry Distributors in Prestonsburg, Ky.
In a separate effort, Anheuser-Busch also launched "Busch Heroes," a new cross-platform campaign that celebrates everyday people who work hard at their jobs and in their communities. The campaign centers on eight Busch Heroes, a collection of men and women who are local role models that will be vaulted to national hero status by Busch. Each of the Heroes has a unique story, but the common thread is that “they are earning it every day, no matter what it takes.”
Digital ads showcasing the heroes and all they do will run in 30- and 60-second versions. The Heroes and their stories will also be featured on special-edition Busch and Busch Light packaging, print advertisements, retail displays and region-specific billboards.
CITGO Petroleum Corp.
ITGO recognized nine nonprofits from eight states and the District of Columbia as Fueling Good winners, each receiving $5,000 in CITGO gift cards to fuel good in their local communities. The organizations will use their awards for a wide range of activities, including transitional youth programs for children with severe chronic health conditions, helping patients with cancer or neuro-endocrine-immune diseases get to treatments, and delivering books into rural communities.
More than 400 organizations entered the latest Fueling Good project and more than 25,000 votes were cast by the public to select the nine finalists. The winning 501(c)(3) organizations provide services in one of four categories: Environmental Protection and Conservation; Education and Social Investment; Energy Assistance; and Health. Since 2009, the CITGO Fueling Good program has rewarded more than 220 charities.
Living Essentials LLC
Living Essentials, the maker of 5-hour Energy, donated $344,269.20 to Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC), a national nonprofit education and support organization serving women and families affected by breast cancer. The total amount of the donation was based on a contribution of 5 cents from the sale of every bottle of its limited-edition, specially marked Raspberry Flavored 5-hour Energy shot sold between Aug. 15 and Dec. 31.
LBBC will use the funds to introduce a series of new initiatives and expand existing services, including a new series of brochures called In Focus that will address special-interest topics, including a publication for men. Other programs that will benefit from the donation include expanding its Breast Cancer Helpline nationally, increasing the number of free LBBC webinars, and hosting additional regional community meetings across the country.
S. Abraham & Sons (SAS)
In December, the SAS sales and marketing management teams came together to take part in an activity to help build teamwork and give back to the community. The first portion of the workshop focused on improving communication, while the second part was a building program that used various bicycle parts that filled the room. Eventually, teams performed the ultimate goal of building a bicycle using their newly improved communication, planning and teamwork skills.
Once these bicycles were assembled, they were inspected to ensure safety and proper construction. Then, representatives from a local YMCA were on hand to accept the donation of three boy-style bicycles and three girl-style bicycles. These bikes were given to children in need as part of the YMCA’s Christmas giving program.
In addition to this charitable event, SAS coordinates four blood drives annually, and donations from Friday “Jeans Day” go to Kids Food Basket, providing nutritious lunches for school children and the American Cancer Society.
Stripes Convenience Stores
The March of Dimes Foundation recognized Stripes Convenience Stores as its No. 1 Texas corporate partner. March of Dimes also announced that Stripes is ranked No. 11 nationwide as a corporate partner.
Since 2008, Stripes has raised more than $3.2 million for the March of Dimes, one dollar at a time through its annual cut-out fundraising campaign held at all Stripes locations in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Stripes has a long-standing tradition of investing in health and education programs that focus on children and youth.