Our European operations support “Youth at risk” in all eight countries

Supporting “Youth at risk” is the continent-spanning theme for all our European operations. Our business units in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Russia focus their fundraising and volunteer activities on supporting youths as well as young adults aged 16-23. According to research conducted by the business units, young people are under increasing stress in our fast-paced society and the need for community-based effort to support them is greater than ever. Combining to support a single theme allows our European business units to get more “bang for their buck” while still ensuring local relevance.

Within the framework of “Youth at risk”, each business unit identified local organizations that effectively address the needs of this target group and their employees selected which of the organizations to collaborate with. The resulting partnerships go beyond financial donations to include employee and customer engagement in fundraising and volunteering.

Our Norwegian business unit created a “Pink Ribbon Car Wash Campaign”. This month-long campaign built awareness of the cause and raised funds for the Norwegian Cancer Society. Our service stations used all their communication channels – including advertising, in-store promotions and social media – to promote the cause and donated $6.75 from every premium car wash sold in the month of October. They successfully raised over $363,000.

The same Norwegian business unit encouraged its employees and vendors to take part in a three-day long camp in Summer 2014. At this camp, in an idyllic island setting, youths whose families were affected by cancer could enjoy a brief vacation free from the daily stresses of dealing with the disease. Over 65 youths participated with nearly as many employees volunteers as camp counselors. Food and drink for the entire event was donated by vendors and entertainment in the evenings came from national celebrities. Many of the young people signed up for the next camp in 2015 before leaving the island.

In Denmark, our business unit raised $71,000 through another car wash campaign to benefit Børns Vilkår (a children’s rights organization). In Sweden a car wash campaign raised over $197,000 for the organization BRIS. Also in Sweden, the recycling of cans and bottles via our service stations raised another $50,000 while a campaign to recruit new card customers generated almost $23,000. Our Swedish business units’ business-to-business customers also helped, collecting $19,000 as part of a Christmas campaign. All this money supports BRIS in employing additional counselors to help the children and young people who contact the organization.

In Estonia, our business unit raised $10,000 for the Estonian Union of Child Welfare through yet another car wash campaign. Our people work with the organization to deliver an anti-bullying program at elementary schools. Parenting courses for our employees in four cities across Estonia addressed the topic of “How to raise children so they don’t become bullies”. Also in Estonia, our business unit sold road safety reflectors from which 10% of the total revenue went to a cancer treatment foundation called The Gift of Life – raising a total of $1,300.

Our Latvian business unit supported three organizations last year with over $10,000 raised through a car wash campaign. The money went to Apeirons, a non-government organization working to create meeting spaces for youths with and without disabilities. We also funded school transport for ten pupils for the year, as well as raising money for Practican, a unique project in Europe where young people are able to virtually explore their dream profession and gain working knowledge from various companies. $17,000 was raised for this campaign through another car wash campaign. Our Latvian service stations also raised awareness about initiatives started by the Latvian Road Traffic Safety Department by giving out information and supporting the campaigns through social media.

In Poland our business unit is working with the Green Leaf Foundation to raise awareness amongst youths about road safety. They focus on educating students about the risks and consequences of drinking and driving.