When QuikTrip enters a new market, it doesn’t tiptoe into the water, it takes a full plunge. And they take the same approach with their local philanthropy – they’re “all in,” said Sherill Carrington, United Way’s assistant vice president of corporate partnerships.
The employee-owned company has grown faster in the Carolinas than in any other previous expansion in QuikTrip’s 60-year history. Given all the work required for such a massive undertaking, some companies might opt to get settled in before getting involved philanthropically. Instead, QuikTrip presented United Way with a check for more than $85,000 just months after opening their first Charlotte stores in 2012.
“When they arrived in the Carolinas, they reached out to United Way immediately,” said Carrington. “They want to make a real difference where they do business.”
By the following year, that donation had nearly doubled to just under $170,000, and their most recent campaign raised $232,543 for United Way of Central Carolinas, thanks to devoted employees and a dollar-for-dollar corporate match – part of QuikTrip’s commitment to donate 5% of its annual net profit to charity.
Such generosity recently landed QuikTrip on Fortune magazine’s “50 Best Workplaces for Giving Back.”
While United Way is QuikTrip’s largest beneficiary nationwide, its most visible support goes to Safe Place, a program coordinated in Charlotte by United Way agency The Relatives. Bright yellow Safe Place signs designate QuikTrip stores as safe havens for at-risk youth; runaways can come in off the street, receive food and drink, and wait for a volunteer from The Relatives to provide help or a place to stay until the situation is resolved.
The more QuikTrip expands, the more Safe Places the Charlotte region will have, and the greater impact their generosity will produce – fulfilling the company’s mission of creating opportunity for others.