“Now every time someone makes a $1 donation in our stores, they sign a flyer that we post and we give them a free soda next time they come in,” says Cenex Zip Trip general manager.
For the third year, Cenex Zip Trip stores have participated in growing The Salvation Army’s Backpacks for Kids Campaign in several states.
“We helped raise $26,216 in Spokane, Wash., and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and over $5,000 in Billings, Mont.,” said Ian Johnstone, Cenex Zip Trip general manager for CHS. “Every year the donations keep getting bigger and bigger, and we’re proud to play a role in building excitement for this program. Our stores are fortunate to be part of great communities that really get behind this effort.”
The Salvation Army uses the funds to purchase backpacks and fill them with essential school supplies for children in need. “This year’s backpack campaign has been the best ever,” said Captain Kyle Smith, Salvation Army, Spokane. ”Having the backpacks gives children a sense of pride and self worth when they get to school on the first day.”
Cenex Zip Trip stores in several markets got involved with the effort after Johnstone read about the program in the newspaper. “I called to see how our stores could get involved because there weren’t enough donations to provide backpacks for all the kids who needed them. Now every time someone makes a $1 donation in our stores, they sign a flyer that we post and we give them a free soda next time they come in,” said Johnstone.
Posting the personalized donation flyers, running radio commercials, using interior and exterior store signage, and talking up the program at the counter helps build momentum for the campaign. At the end of the drive, the stores post messages on their LED signs thanking the community and letting them know how much money was raised.
“We believe in building local grassroots efforts and being active in our communities. That’s part of the Cenex brand philosophy,” said Johnstone.
Smith noted the involvement of Cenex Zip Trip stores has made a major difference in the success of the annual Backpacks for Kids program. “Without the fantastic support of Cenex Zip Trip stores and their staff, we would probably only be able to serve about one-fourth of the kids we do.”