Rounding up change at grocery checkout is benefitting another charity, this time the Juneau Animal Rescue thanks to Foodland IGA and Super Bear IGA stores and customers in Juneau, Alaska. The rescue organization received $3,317.53 in March 2021 thanks to the customers at the two IGA stores.
“Our customers are very generous and care deeply about our community,” says Super Bear IGA Manager Kelly Crow, who adds that the store partners with the Juneau Animal Rescue throughout the year, selling the charity's t-shirts, sweatshirts, and an annual calendar in store with all proceeds going to the organization.
This independent retailer best practice—cashiers ask customers if they would like to round up their change to benefit a local charity (if the bill is $53.28, the customer pays $54.00 and $0.72 goes to the charity)—is very popular at stores owned by The Myers Group, a family-owned grocery business with seven IGA stores in the Pacific Northwest. "This is where we can make a big impact, and it won’t cost the store much money to do it," says Tyler Myers, owner of The Myers Group. "The customers get the credit, but the store receives goodwill as a benefit."
Myers is proud of the charitable work the stores are doing, and noted it's up to the individual IGA store managers to decide which charities to partner with based on community needs. “Each store can have a completely different fund recipient and goal," Myers says. "We’re agnostic to whomever it goes to as long as it’s the right purpose.”
This month, Super Bear IGA's Roundup for Change program is benefitting the Southeast Alaska Foodbank, and Crow says the Juneau Raptor Center, a local avian rescue, will be the beneficiary in the coming months.
“Not only does the program provide differentiation for the stores, it’s just the right thing to do," says Myers. "When you’re talking 19 cents, it’s an easy thing, and it adds up to a meaningful amount for these organizations.” Juneau Animal Rescue's Deputy Director Shane Walker agrees, adding "This is very helpful."
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