Giving Back To Our Communities And Our Customers

By Sukhi Sandhu, NCASEF Chairman

As 7-Eleven franchisees, we not only provide our customers with the products and services they need, but we also support the communities our stores serve. We do this at the store level, at the local FOA level, and at the national level via the National Coalition. I feel it is very important to be active in our communities—whether it is via raising funds for a charity, sponsoring a little league sports team, or donating essentials like coats and backpacks to those children in our neighborhoods from less fortunate backgrounds. This type of involvement shows our customers, our business partners, our bureaucratic and political officials, everyone, that we are responsible businesspeople who care.

NCASEF has a long history of charity fundraising via our golf tournaments and Charity Auction Night during our annual convention. This year, we have chosen Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) as our preferred charity moving forward. We were looking for a charity that was national but with local ties, and CMN Hospitals fit the bill perfectly. They have 170 children’s hospitals in their network in the United States and in Canada. The idea is that we organize charity golf tournaments during three of our quarterly Board meetings—plus our annual convention—so we can raise funds for this worthy organization. Depending on where the Board meeting is held, we will get the local FOA involved, as well as the NCASEF Charity Golf Committee members and NCASEF officers. We will also invite CMN Hospitals representatives to attend, and ask them to find a local children’s hospital to be the beneficiary of our fundraising event. After the golf tournament, we will present the donation check to CMN and local children’s hospital officials.

In essence, we will be working with a national organization, but the impact is directly to the local community where we are holding our Board meeting and the money we raise isn’t going somewhere else. My hope is that NCASEF can serve as a conduit to facilitate a relationship between local FOA leadership and the local CMN Hospitals people so the FOA can maintain and have that ongoing relationship. I encourage all FOAs to support CMN Hospitals via your golf tournaments, trade shows, or other fundraising events.

Beyond NCASEF’s charity of choice, we recently partnered up with SEI on a fundraising campaign in response to the humanitarian crisis brought on by the war in Ukraine (the American Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Fund). The news and images coming out of Ukraine are heartbreaking, and the 7-Eleven family felt we had to help out in some way. SEI started a Round-Up Campaign at the store level to get customers involved, which lasted a month and ended on April 28. In conjunction with that, NCASEF teamed with SEI to expand the campaign to allow FOAs, individual franchisees, and local store employees to raise and donate funds, with SEI matching that money dollar-to-dollar up to $250,000. Results of that campaign will be available soon, but the numbers so far are promising. Our FOAs alone—28 in total from across the country—managed to raise $133,933, and I thank them for their contribution.

At the store level, I know many franchisees participate in and support local events, fundraise for local charities and causes, and help out in times of crisis. My stores regularly participate in local events like the 10K with a Cop marathon, which helps fortify the relationship between law enforcement and the community. We are also very involved with our local schools by fundraising for their programs, participating in their anti-bullying program, and happy to hand out water and snacks at many other school events.

I would like to encourage you all to continue being active and contributing members of your communities, whether it’s through the CMN Hospitals charity, through sponsoring local events, or helping out in times of need. I know there are many franchisees out there who participate in many different ways in their local communities, and we would love to share your stories so the public realizes how much value we bring to our communities. We are not just running 7-Eleven stores, we are also GIVING BACK.