- $472,050 total dollars granted
- 18 organizations supported
- 1.5M meals for children in partnership with No Kid Hungry
Focused on moving our
This year’s community engagement report provides highlights of our community engagement efforts throughout 2019 and serves as a record of the hard work and generosity of our employees and partners, without whom none of this would be possible.
We established the Blackie Wills Community Leadership Fund to ensure that the Wills Group can provide direct financial support to organizations that share our commitment to move the lives of our people and our neighbors forward – keeping Lives in Motion.
“We fundamentally believe that if we provide our employees with the resources, tools, and support they need, they will succeed personally and professionally – and will give that support back to those in need within our community.
Employee well-being and delivering an exceptional customer experience are driving forces in our culture at the Wills Group. Through our commitment to nurture the well-being, talents, and skills of our employees, we work hard to deliver a level of service that also translates to strengthening our community. Many of our employees live in the communities we serve – making our community engagement work that much more personal and meaningful.”
Chairman, CEO, and President
at Wills Group, Inc.
Providing our employees with the resources, tools, and support they need to be the best for themselves and for others.
Our purpose is to keep Lives in Motion. This purpose informs our commitment to delivering outstanding service, building lasting relationships with our people and customers, and giving back to the communities where we live and operate. An integral part of delivering on that promise is our ability to care for our people so that they are equipped with the resources they need to care for our community.
Enabling Employees to Give Back.
It’s important for us that our employees have the time they need to support the charitable causes that are meaningful to them, that’s why we oﬀer eligible full-time employees paid time oﬀ to volunteer with charitable organizations of their choosing.
The Wills Group also provides a charitable match of either one dollar or 50 cents for every dollar employees donate to charitable organizations that support causes that are personally significant to them.
Helping Employees in Times of Crisis
The Wills Group offers an Employee Crisis Grant to help employees during unprecedented, unavoidable financial crises. It is the goal of this program to support our employees who are in need with dignity and respect.
Our concern for our employees’ well-being doesn’t simply start at 9:00 a.m. and stop at 5:00 p.m. That’s why we introduced b.well, our wellness benefits program that is designed to help our employees feel, live, work, and save better.
At the Wills Group, volunteering is contagious. Rolling up our sleeves, getting our hands dirty, and offering tangible results for our communities are part of what we do best. Over the past three years, our employees have collectively volunteered over 2,000 hours.
Providing Meals for Children in Need
On March 22, 2019, Wills Group and Dash In employees volunteered at the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, D.C., to unpack and sort food for distribution. The Capital Area Food Bank is the largest organization in the Washington metro area working to solve hunger.
Giving Back for September Hunger Month
Throughout September Hunger Month, Dash In stores worked with No Kid Hungry, a national nonprofit focused on ending childhood hunger, to raise more than $40,000 in support of programs that provide school breakfast and afterschool and summer meals.
Celebrating Teachers in Prince George’s County
Our Dash In employees took time to celebrate teachers in the Clinton, Maryland, by hosting a teacher appreciation event for staff members at James Ryder Randall Elementary School and Stephen Decatur Middle School on May 24, 2019. Two hundred mugs and free car wash vouchers were donated to the teachers at the two schools. Free coffee was also provided to all teachers who brought their mugs to participating Dash In stores through July.
We’re here for good.
On June 13, 2019, more than 250 business and community partners, friends, and family joined us to open the doors of our new Wills Group headquarters to the community. The theme of the event was Here for Good in celebration that we’re both Here in Southern Maryland for Good, and also Here for the Good of the community.
We welcomed the community, businesses, and civic leaders during the event, showcasing the company’s local growth and commitment to Southern Maryland. At the event, we announced a $150,000 grant to LifeStyles of Southern Maryland, paying off the mortgage of their newest endeavor, Southern Crossing. Southern Maryland Food Bank, Farming 4 Hunger, Charles County Children’s Aid Society, Our Place Waldorf, and the Arnold House also each received a $2,500 grant from the Wills Group.
Working with charitable organizations and business partners to invest in the future of our communities.
Our partners are an integral part of the work that we are able to accomplish in the communities we serve. In 2019, we worked closely with 13 charitable organizations to bring nutritious meals to hungry children and provide meaningful resources for community members in need so that they can fulfill their goals for themselves and their families.
"To be able to see our impact beneﬁt the community ﬁrst hand is very rewarding, both as an individual and a company. I have been hugged and repeatedly thanked by community members that we have been able to reach."
Executive Administrator at Wills Group, Inc.
"Our community engagement program efforts take a lot of leadership, time, and effort. We have leadership that is committed and stimulates the right energy. It really has become an underlying part of the fabric of our organization."
Senior Construction Project Manager at Wills Group, Inc.
"It is great to see an organization like the Wills Group want to give back to the community. And to be able to be a part of that effort has made me as an employee feel so good."
Mary Jane Garner
Price Book Manager at Dash In
Carrying on a Commitment to Community
and Civic Engagement.
This year’s Golf Classic event, held on September 9, 2019, raised more than $345,000 in support of the Blackie Wills Community Leadership Fund. The Fund was formed in 2016 in honor of Julian Blacklock “Blackie” Wills, the third President and CEO of the Wills Group, to carry on his commitment to community and civic engagement.
“Every day we work to continue to build on my grandfather’s commitment of giving back to the communities where we live and operate, and the Blackie Wills Golf Classic is an important part of that effort. Funds raised through the Golf Classic are invested in furthering the Wills Group’s community engagement efforts to move the lives of the people in our communities forward toward their goals and dreams.”
Blackie Wills Executive Vice President for Convenience Retailing at Wills Group, Inc.
It is because of the continued commitment and hard work of our employees at the Wills Group that we are able to provide for our communities through valuable volunteer hours and in-kind donations.
A special thank you to all of our community engagement committees that have been instrumental in furthering the goals of our community engagement program to make sure that our communities’ needs of food and shelter were met. This annual community engagement report is in celebration of all that you do.
Community Leadership Team
- Tara Handy (Co-Chair)
- Amanda Nelson
- Lock Wills (Co-Chair)
- Mark Oliver
- Chelsea Benincasa
- Caitlin Peden
- Steve Donnelly
- Brooke Rieman
- Ken Halperin
- Blackie Wills
- Don Hamberger
- Joe Wills
- Arielle Kimmer
- Michele Wills
- Dee Nascimento
Community Engagement Committee
- Don Hamberger (Co-Chair)
- Huong Hogan
- Amanda Nelson (Co-Chair)
- Juanita Laceﬁeld
- Caitlin Peden (Co-Chair)
- Wendy Logan
- Brooke Rieman (Co-Chair)
- Sylvia Ludvig
- Matt Ammerman
- Mike Marino
- Mindy Butler
- Susan Peery
- Derek Chappell
- Kim Purdy
- Chris DeCarlo
- Michelle Reeves
- Sharon Espinosa
- Mike Stewart
- Brian Fenwick
- Sam Stornelli
- Paul Grabis
- Tabitha Wilson
- Mary Jane Garner
- Anthony Young