There’s no doubt that the convenience industry is generous when it comes to providing for charitable causes. However, two retailers—Kum & Go and QuickChek—are examples of companies that go out of their way to make a difference.
By David Bennett, Senior Editor
Almost all convenience stores are engaged in charitable activities during the holidays. Some are special events that are scheduled in conjunction with Thanksgiving and Christmas. Others are planned for throughout the year.
Since the holidays are upon us, CSD chose to profile two companies that go the extra mile—figuratively and literally—to assist those in need.
HELP FOR HABITAT
West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go L.C., which operates more than 400 stores in 11 states, has crafted a tradition with its work with Habitat for Humanity in states such as Colorado, North Dakota and South Dakota.
“We have associates who have volunteered on several home builds in many locations,” said Kristie Bell, spokeswoman for Kum & Go. “In addition to the home we sponsor each year that local folks work on, we also have GMs who volunteer to work on a build the day after each of our three division meetings, held annually.”
Habitat for Humanity makes houses affordable by giving eligible families a mortgage with no interest rate and capping their payment at 25%.
“Last year, we raised more than $600,000,” Bell said. “Our generous customers donated about $370,000 and we sponsored a home build in Story City, Iowa.” This house is still to be completed.
Most Habitat homes are around $100,000. The remainder of the funds Kum & Go generated goes toward other Habitat projects—some of which stay in local communities and some goes to Habitat for Humanity International.
HOPE FOR WARRIORS
Known for its annual balloon festival, QuickChek, based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., is dedicated to serving its communities both in and out of store, having raised millions of dollars to support a variety of causes that benefit children, families and military veterans.
This is the third year of QuickChek’s partnership with Hope for the Warriors, a national nonprofit that enhances the quality of life for post-9/11 service members and their families.
QuickChek, which operates 143 stores in New Jersey and New York, was a sponsor of the 6th Precinct Cops Who Care charity bicycling tour to raise funds for local military veterans on Long Island, N.Y. More than 300 riders, including the QuickChek ride team, consisting of seven company executives and store personnel, took part in either a 25-mile ride or a 50-mile ride throughout parts of Long Island on April 24, 2016.
QuickChek also supplied riders with bottled water at stations throughout the route.
The c-store chain was also a sponsor of the 9th annual Long Island Run for the Warriors in Lindenhurst, N.Y. for the second year in a row. Suffolk County is home to the largest population of veterans in New York State.
Because this cause is special to QuickChek, expect more miles to be ridden and more veterans to receive help in the future.
“Many of our team members are veterans who have served our country,” said QuickChek CEO Dean Durling. “The Run for the Warriors is an event that provides our veteran employees with hope and further motivation in wanting to be the best they can be and adds to the personal connection we strive for in being a great place to work and a great place to invest.”