“For more than three decades, our partnership with UCP has been one of the most important outlets for Circle K to give back to the people we serve,” says Circle K spokesperson.
The donation was raised during Circle K’s FishStix event, an annual golf and fishing tournament, and presented to UCP, an international service provider and advocate for children and adults with a spectrum of disabilities, during a ceremony last week at UCP of Tampa Bay.
The $332,000 donation, in addition to funds raised through canister donations throughout the year, brings Circle K’s total contribution to more than $1 million in 2011.
The check presentation ceremony included Circle K and UCP executives from the Florida affiliates that benefit from Circle K donations, representatives from UCP’s National office in Washington, D.C. and Circle K executives, regional operations directors and store managers.
Darrell Davis, who was appointed vice president of Circle K’s Florida region in Spring 2011, welcomed everyone to the ceremony. “At its heart, Circle K is a group of committed individuals who care deeply for the communities where we operate,” he said. “For more than three decades, our partnership with UCP has been one of the most important outlets for Circle K to give back to the people we serve. We look forward to strengthening our ongoing relationship with UCP and are extremely proud to play a role in providing a life without limits for people with disabilities.”
Leaders from several UCP Florida affiliates remarked on the incredible impact Circle K’s partnership has had on the work they do every day.
“In these trying economic times, you hear every day how the government is able to do less and less for the people in the most need in our community. We really rely on our community partnership with Circle K to help us continue to provide services that are so critical to hundreds of people with disabilities,” said Craig Byrd, executive director of UCP of East Central Florida.
The Circle K support the affiliate receives helps to enhance its technology programs. “The reputation we have earned is that if you want to see high-tech technology impacting the lives of people with disabilities, go to UCP of Tallahassee,” said Ron Sanders, regional administrator for UCP of Tallahassee. “We have health care providers and legislators coming to see our work, and every single person who comes through, knows that it’s about Circle K and UCP.”
Norma Israel, Executive Director of UCP of Southwest Florida, brought one of her clients Lisa, who is featured in the “Adopt a Life” campaign. “Lisa is one of the hundreds of adults with disabilities we serve every day, which we would simply not be able to do without Circle K’s support. Because of our partnership with Circle K, Lisa is able to live on her own, care for her pets and has a job.”
Laura White, Associate Executive Director of UCP of Tampa Bay, also highlighted a client who is featured in the “Adopt a Child/Adopt a Life” campaign, six-year-old Kara. “I recently heard Kara speak in full sentences, and when Kara came to us a year and half ago, she had no words. It is just a blessing for us to have the support of Circle K, which allows us to make a difference in the lives of so many.”
UCP-Circle K Partnership
When the Circle K Corp. purchased the U-tote-M chain of convenience stores in 1984, Circle K management adopted UCP as the company’s designated charity. Today, UCP remains Circle K’s charity of choice in the Florida and Gulf regions. Circle K stands as UCP’s largest corporate sponsor, having raised more than $40 million over the life of the partnership through coin collection canisters at retail sites and with special events like golf tournaments, casual days, bake sales and car washes.
In an effort to deepen Circle K’s connection to the communities it serves and increase support for UCP affiliates in the Florida region, Circle K and UCP have launched two new campaigns. Since Sept. 1, the “Adopt a Child/Adopt a Life” campaign helps to celebrate and promote the tremendous difference that Circle K has made in communities across Florida. Unlike the earlier coin collection campaigns, each Circle K store now features the story and photo of a UCP client that lives in the region that that particular store serves.
Circle K customers donating at the register now know they are supporting those in their immediate community.
This type of targeted campaign that ties donors to outcomes is designed to trumpet the good work of Circle K as a community partner and good corporate citizen. At the same time, it will raise public awareness of UCP and the services it provides to people with disabilities, and raise crucial funds that will change their lives for the better.
Beginning Nov. 2 and running through the holiday season, Circle K patrons will have the opportunity to purchase a “star” that includes coupons for in-store use on select products. The star will be hung throughout the stores to raise awareness of Circle K’s support of UCP, visualize the incredible impact that individuals can have on the lives of people with disabilities in their communities, and encourage other customers to support as well.
This campaign reinforces Circle K’s philosophy of giving back to the communities of which they are a part, by inspiring individuals to support those in their community who need it most.
“We’re excited to herald Circle K’s deep philanthropy by showing people in the communities where a Circle K is doing business that their donations are impacting real lives in the towns and cities where donations are being collected,” said Michael Hill, UCP’s senior vice president for external affairs. “In this way, we shine a spotlight on the radical difference that Circle K is making in the lives of people with a spectrum of disabilities.”
UCP Honors Circle K with Chair Award
UCP presented Circle K with its Chair Award in recognition of a partnership that has spanned three decades and seen the convenience store chain donate tens of millions of dollars to the charity during the 2011 UCP Annual Conference. The Chair Award is UCP’s highest honor and is given by the Chair of UCP’s National Board of Trustees for exemplary commitment to UCP’s mission. This was a part of UCP’s annual Awards for Excellence, presented to UCP affiliates, individuals and companies whose exceptional activities, achievements and dedication exemplify the UCP mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities through its affiliate network.
UCP presented the 2011 Chair Award to Jason Broussard, vice president of the Circle K Gulf Coast Region, and to Darrell Davis, vice president of the Circle K Florida Region.