CSD: Turkey Hill Supports Its Hometown Heroes
By Erin Rigik
a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of an
article from Convenience Store Decisions magazine.
While the recession
rages on at home and many Americans are struggling to make ends meet, far
too many people have forgotten the work our brave men and women are doing
overseas. So, Turkey Hill rallied its own troops to send them a message:
You are not forgotten.
In July, the
Pennsylvania-based operator of Turkey Hill Dairy and Turkey Hill Minit
Markets instituted a month-long program called Operation Hometown Hello
to support local troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
program all Turkey Hill Minit Markets in Pennsylvania collected tangible
donations for the Pennsylvania National Guard Troops from July 1 to July
31. Each store set up a box where customers could place donations, such
as packs of gum or bags of peanuts, that they purchased at the store or
brought from home.
on July for Operation Hometown Hello because of the July 4th holiday,” said
Erin Dimitriou Smith, public relations manager for Turkey Hill, which operates
247 c-stores in Pennsylvania and one in Indiana. “We wanted to thank the
troops for all that they do for us each and every day in protecting us
and fighting for our freedom, and we thought that by collecting some items
and sending them to our Pennsylvania troops, we might brighten their day.
There are currently 6,000 Pennsylvania National Guard Troops deployed overseas.”
The idea for
the program came from the local postal service. “We decided it would be
an excellent way to help the community and the troops and give them a little
bit of a hometown feel, which is why we called it Operation Hometown Hello,” Ms.
Smith said. “We are thrilled with the response we’ve gotten from our customers.
They love the opportunity to make a difference for the troops and hopefully
put a smile on their faces.”
Dairy drivers that deliver milk and other products to the stores are collecting
the boxes and transporting them to the post office, for shipment overseas.
able to donate almost any item they wished, save for items that can melt,
such as chocolate or ice cream. A top 10 list of the most requested items
was available to help customers know what to donate. The troops’ most requested
items included single-serve packages of peanuts and sunflower seeds, beef
jerky, gum, pens and pencils, Combos and pretzels.
The goal of
the program was to fill 247 boxes by the end of July, one for every Pennsylvania
store. At presstime, the program had already brought in 750 pounds
(75 boxes) of donated items from toiletries to candy and magazines. Turkey
Hill paid for all shipping costs.
Questions: Should more retailers be coming up with donation programs
supporting the U.S. military? How effective from a public standing are
these types of programs compared to others supporting causes such as
breast cancer research, Special Olympics, etc.?