While corporate giving is important, it is the community citizenship practiced at store level that makes Hy-Vee most proud. The company’s autonomous structure fosters a spirit of entrepreneurship that allows stores to custom-tailor their contributions to meet the needs of their communities. In the beginning, it took the form of donations of heating oil or a box of groceries to a family suffering through hard times during the Depression; today, it encompasses financial contributions to hundreds of causes, leadership roles in non-profit organizations and one-on-one volunteer contacts in the community. Whether it’s a Little League team or a Big League franchise, our stores are deeply passionate about their involvement in their communities, not only through product and financial support, but through volunteerism as well.
Variety The Children’s Charity
Hy-Vee’s participation with Variety, an international organization dedicated to improving the lives of children, began in 1983 while participating in the Cash for Kids program. Cash for Kids brought together grocery wholesalers, retailers, manufacturers and food brokers in a coupon redemption program to raise funds for children. Since its inception, Cash for Kids has generated millions of dollars for the organization. Other events, activities and programs raise additional funds each year. Since 1983, Hy-Vee has impacted Variety and Iowa’s children to the tune of more than $14 million. Former Hy-Vee CEO Ric Jurgens and his wife Carol served as honorary chairs for the 35th annual Variety telethon event, which raised an estimated $3.17 million for Iowa’s children in need. Hy-Vee’s contribution of $715,000 in 2012 was made possible with fundraising efforts through the Hy-Vee Triathlon auction and vendor promotions.
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)
Juvenile diabetes first struck the Hy-Vee family in 1921 when company cofounder Charles Hyde’s oldest son, Paul, died from the disease when he was 8 years old. As the needs of diabetic children grew, Hy-Vee dedicated its efforts to help the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation find a cure for the debilitating disease. Since 1998, the year former Hy-Vee CEO Ron Pearson was corporate chair for the Central Iowa JDRF Walk for the Cure, the company has raised almost $10 million. Funds are raised through a variety of corporate and store events, including walks throughout Hy-Vee land and Team Hy-Vee participation in Rides for the Cure throughout the United States. To honor Paul’s memory, the annual Charles Hyde Award is given to the Hy-Vee employee who raises the most money for JDRF.
The American Red Cross
The American Red Cross provides relief to victims of disaster and helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Many individuals and communities rely on their programs and generosity in times of disaster relief. Recognizing the important role of this organization in our communities, Hy-Vee, Inc. donated $30,000 to the American Red Cross in 2011. Over and above the corporate donation, a number of Hy-Vee stores contribute funds to local Red Cross chapters in the communities in which they live and work.
Hy-Vee Homefront is an ongoing initiative to increase awareness of and support for organizations that serve our nation’s military members, veterans and their families.
Through Hy-Vee Homefront, we are extending our efforts to include more organizations, and we’re inviting our customers, employees, suppliers and communities to join in serving those who have served us. When the call came, they answered; now it’s time for all of us to honor their commitment and their sacrifice by stepping up to meet their needs at home.