Give Aloha

This month marks the start of one of my favorite programs at Foodland – Give Aloha. In many ways, it seems like just yesterday that our marketing team came together to brainstorm ideas of how to appropriately honor our late founder, Sully. To us, a program to support the community was the logical choice as Sully was not only known for his support of local non-profits, but he had always instilled in us that we “have a responsibility to support the community that supports us.”

We talked about supporting one or two local organizations, but wondered if there was a way our customers could support an organization of their choice. Our hope was to honor Sully by supporting the non-profits that were important to our customers while also providing our customers with an easy way to give.

We scrambled to pull this together the first year – and needless to say, it was a collaborative effort. Our technology and marketing teams, the Hawaii Community Foundation, Aloha United Way, and our vendors all came together to help. Because it was the first year and we didn’t know what to expect, we promised to contribute $100,000 to match customer donations. We had hoped that customers would donate just as much to their favorite charities, but we weren’t sure. We were completely overwhelmed when in just two weeks of the program, customers donated more than $364,000! In response to the overwhelming generosity of the community, Sully’s family and friends announced they would match Foodland’s $100,000 corporate gift, thereby doubling the program’s matching gift to non-profits.

In that first year alone, we raised a total of $1.042 million for the community – in just a few short weeks! Customers loved giving to the organizations they cared about, non-profits raised much needed funds, and we were able to honor Sully while supporting the community that had helped Foodland become successful. I’ll never forget handing out checks to organizations that year on Sully’s birthday (October 6). They were so thrilled when they saw the amounts that they broke into spontaneous applause. It gave me chicken skin and I know Sully was smiling down on us!

Twelve years later, I still love Give Aloha. And I thought it would be nice to share my top reasons on why you should consider supporting your favorite non-profit through Give Aloha this year.

• There are over 600 organizations from which to choose and they span our state.
• There is no minimum to the amount you can give – even your spare change can help.
• These are challenging times and more than ever, these organizations that provide vital service to our community need our support.
• Donating is simple – you just add it to your grocery bill at checkout.
• Foodland will match a portion of every customer gift; that means that your gift becomes larger when you donate through Give Aloha.

I’d love to hear the reasons why so many of you love Give Aloha and how your favorite organizations have benefitted from the program. A big Mahalo from all of us at Foodland for making Give Aloha a program about which we – and Sully – can be very proud!

For more details on the program click here.