Promoting Positivity | NACS Online – Magazine – Past Issues – 2013 – October 2013
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Promoting Positivity

CITGO seeks out the good in local communities with its Fueling Good initiative.

​By Sarah Hamaker

Two guys in a minivan touring the country in search of good works — it sounds like the plot to an indie movie, right? Instead, the two guys, Adam and Diego, are the face of CITGO’s Fueling Good initiative, started in 2009 to spread the word about the Houston-based company’s good works in its local communities.

Because every CITGO station is locally owned and operated, the company encourages each location to be good neighbors and give back to local causes and organizations. CITGO stations serve their communities in a variety of ways, such as sponsoring community teams, hosting car wash fundraisers and volunteering at area food banks.

The Fueling Good campaign has three parts: the retail brand story, the business-to-business trade and corporate responsibility. According to the Fueling Good website, the goal is to position CITGO as “the most human, caring oil company,” while doing good in the communities in which it has locations. Overall, CITGO hopes the initiative will improve the retail experience for its customers.

FUELING GOOD WORKS
An integral part of the Fueling Good program is its Fueling Education component, which joins CITGO in partnership with the nonprofit organization ClassWish. As part of the promotion, teachers in local CITGO markets register their classroom wish lists on the Fueling Good Facebook page for a chance to win up to $5,000 for supplies. In addition, teachers who submit entries via Instagram have a chance to win $100 CITGO gift cards and $1,000 in supplies.

This year’s Fueling Education promotion ran from April to July, with winners selected at random for both portions of the contest. This year’s winners included 83 teachers in 27 states and Washington, D.C., who received $1,000 in school supplies for their classrooms. An additional 25 teachers who registered on Instagram received a $100 CITGO Gift Card and $1,000 in supplies.

“Since education is one of the four CITGO pillars of good, we recognize how important it is in promoting positive change,” said Gustavo Velasquez, vice president of supply and marketing with CITGO, in a press release. “We are proud to provide this opportunity for teachers to get the resources they need to fuel the great minds of tomorrow.”

Soon CITGO will announce details of its fall Fueling Good promotion, which awards $5,000 in CITGO gift cards to eligible 501(c)(3) organizations to help support their mission. Previous winners include Friends of the Columbia County Traveling Library, Kids Corps Inc., Stony Brook Cancer Center and Youth Home Inc. Other humanitarian initiatives Fueling Good has supported have provided access to medical treatments for the critically ill, delivered low-cost heating oil to more than half a million people annually, provided aid to areas hit by natural disasters, and raised funds to those suffering from neuromuscular diseases.

ON THE ROAD
To spread the word about its good works and the Fueling Good program, CITGO sends Adam and Diego on an official Fueling Good Road Trip. The pair, identified only by their first names, visit CITGO gasoline distributors around the country and meet with local charities and others who are helping their communities. Along the way, the two produce TV commercials, radio spots, social media posts (instagram.com/fueling_good) and web videos documenting their trips.

Part of the goal of the Fueling Good Road Trip is to highlight CITGO Rewards Cards, CITGO’s Tri-Clean quality gasoline and the Fueling Good program. Adam and Diego often check in with previous Fueling Good charity winners and have received updates from Bess the Book Bus and the Carolina Mountain Land Conservatory.

So far in 2013, Adam and Diego have traveled to CITGO retail locations in 10 states: Connecticut, Indiana, Illinois, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Texas and Wisconsin. Before year’s end, they will visit three Florida locations and one Louisiana station. While stopping at the stations, Adam and Diego award Fueling Good grants to groups and people doing good in their local communities.

Through these initiatives, CITGO hopes to demonstrate why locally owned stores matter and why consumers should support community-based gasoline retailers. As its Fueling Good website says, “Helping others comes naturally to us. From the millions of dollars donated to worthwhile causes to thousands of dedicated volunteer hours, we’re committed to giving back to the communities where we live and work. You might even say that doing good — or fueling good — is part of the CITGO DNA.”

What are you doing to let your community know what’s in your DNA?

Sarah Hamaker is a NACS Magazine and NACS Daily contributing writer. Visit her online at www.sarahhamaker.com.