Crime doesn’t pay, but good behavior does, and for some kids this summer, the payoff might include a free Slurpee drink at their neighborhood 7-Eleven store.
For the 19th year, 7-Eleven Inc. is partnering with local police departments to distribute up to one-million free Slurpee coupons through Operation Chill, its popular community-service program.
Through Operation Chill, law enforcement officers from participating local police and sheriff departments “ticket” youngsters who are caught in random acts of kindness, good deeds or positive community activities with free Slurpee coupons.
Appropriate “offenses” might include helping another person, wearing a bicycle helmet while riding or skateboarding, deterring crime or participating in a police athletic league. During the summer months and back-to-school season, good kids in many neighborhoods, cities, towns and counties where 7-Eleven stores operate will receive free Slurpee coupons.
“Every year, 7-Eleven supplies the Suffolk County Police Department with Operation Chill coupons for us to distribute during our annual Police Week, with more than 3,500 students attending,” said Police Commissioner Edward Webber. “In addition, they supply free Slurpee coupons for each of our seven precincts. Our relationship with the staff at 7-Eleven has been wonderful, and allows us to interact and reward the kids who are strong members of their community.”
Big-city police departments and small-town forces alike receive the coupons that are redeemable for a free small Slurpee drink at participating 7-Eleven stores. This year, the convenience retailer will distribute Operation Chill coupons to approximately 700 agencies across the U.S.
“Uniformed police officers sometimes can be intimidating to kids,” said Mark Stinde, 7-Eleven vice president of asset protection, “and Operation Chill provides a positive reason to interact with children and youth. “Giving a child a free Slurpee coupon for doing good can help build relationships and reinforce doing the right thing, which might have a long-lasting impact.”
According to Stinde, police departments begin contacting 7-Eleven early each year to sign up for the annual program. Operation Chill coupons are being distributed to participating law enforcement agencies including ones in the greater Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Diego, Orlando, Tampa, Dallas, Denver and Las Vegas areas.
“Each year, both kids and law enforcement officers look forward to Operation Chill,” Stinde said. “Everyone loves Slurpee drinks, and having a reason to approach youngsters in a non-authoritative role gives police officers an opportunity to make connections with the community’s youngest citizens.”
Operation Chill was developed by 7-Eleven to encourage kids’ good behavior during the hot summer months when communities may experience increases in loitering, shoplifting and graffiti. Law enforcement agencies’ also use the coupons to support other community projects and organizations.
7-Eleven introduced the award-winning community service program in Philadelphia in 1995 before launching nationally the following the year. Since then, police officers have given away millions of Slurpee drinks to reward children and youth for “good behavior.”
7-Eleven’s proprietary Slurpee semi-frozen carbonated beverage has generational appeal with slurpers both young and old. More than a half-million Slurpee drinks are purchased each day during the summer at 7-Eleven stores across the country. This summer’s flavors include sugar-free Watermelon Punch Slurpee Lite. The retailer launched Slurpee Lite in 2012 as the first Slurpee-branded, first sugar-free frozen beverage available at participating 7-Eleven stores nationwide.