COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AT THE WILLS GROUP

“Being a part of a company that generously gives back to the local communities is very fulfilling.”

– Jeff Harris, Wholesale Area Manager
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AT THE WILLS GROUP

“The community outreach and volunteering culture at the Wills Group is contagious.”

– Robert Swaninger, Senior Coordinator of Development
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AT THE WILLS GROUP

“From community clean up to feeding the hungry, the Wills Group understands the positive impact it can have.”

– Barbara Nova, Director of Food & Beverage

Keeping Lives in Motion.

For nearly 100 years, the Wills Group has been committed to serving our communities and making meaningful contributions through all aspects of our business. The purpose of our company – Lives in Motion is how we express this commitment to caring for our diverse communities.

We work closely with nonprofit and community organizations to create pathways and places for families and communities to thrive. With our passionate employees leading the way, we collaborate with our neighbors, engaging the voices and talents of those who know their communities best to address immediate needs and identify opportunities to bring their aspirations to life.

$4.5 million+
donated since 2006

$449,000+
raised through Employee Match Campaign since 2016

$1.8 million+
raised at Blackie Wills Golf Classic events since 2017

45
local organizations supported across the Mid-Atlantic region

95%
average employee participation in volunteerism

The Wills Group Transforms Neglected Park

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The Wills Group’s Philanthropic Response to COVID-19 Reaches $1 Million

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Dash In Announces $200,000 in Grants to Support Food Banks

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The Wills Group Raises More Than $342,000 at Sixth Annual Blackie Wills Golf Classic

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The Wills Group Joins the La Plata Community in Dedicating a Reimagined Phoenix Run Park

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The Wills Group’s headquarters in La Plata, Maryland, served as a “Pantry on the Go” mobile food distribution center

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What is keeping Lives in Motion?

Lives in Motion means we believe every interaction is an opportunity to help people move forward toward their goals and dreams. It starts with meeting basic needs, but it takes more than that. It takes a belief that all of us are worthy of a full and rewarding life and have a contribution to make to our communities. This idea inspires our Community Engagement efforts and our two primary areas of focus.

Nourishing Children
and Families

We start where it matters most: Nourishing Children and Families. This focus reflects an understanding that young people thrive when their families thrive. 

According to the latest estimate from No Kid Hungry, as many as 13 million children live in “food insecure” homes. This means these households don’t have enough food for every family member to lead a healthy life.

We partner with regional and local food banks and pantries to increase food security for children and their families by providing resources to increase food access, community gardens that produce sustainable sources of fresh fruits and vegetables, and programs that teach people skills and knowledge to prepare healthy meals for themselves and their families. 

Ultimately well-balanced meals nourish growing bodies, nurture growing minds, and support healthy families.

Reimagining
Outdoor Spaces

Keeping Lives in Motion also means connecting people and places by Reimagining Outdoor Spaces

Vibrant, welcoming outdoor spaces help bring people together.  In addition to play, sports, rest, and fun, outdoor spaces are a place where creativity flourishes. Overgrown lots and unused courts become the tapestry for Lives in Motion.   

Whether it’s transforming walkways into connected paths, basketball courts into murals, or concrete areas into picnic destinations, the Wills Group collaborates with organizations and communities to envision and bring to life reimagined community spaces near Dash In stores.

Foundationally, connected neighbors create stronger communities and support thriving families.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PROJECT UPDATES

The Blackie Wills Community Leadership Fund

The Wills Group’s commitment to employee and community engagement is supported by the Blackie Wills Community Leadership Fund. The Blackie Wills Community Leadership Fund was created in 2016 to honor Wills Group President Julian Blacklock “Blackie” Wills and his commitment to giving back to local communities. The Blackie Wills Community Leadership Fund actively reinvests in our communities in support of our vision and strategic philanthropic initiatives. The Blackie Wills Community Leadership Fund is a component fund within Chesapeake Charities, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Interested in joining a team that gives back to the communities where it lives and operates? Join us.

Learn more about our corporate community engagement work in our annual reports:

2021 Community Engagement Report

Community Engagement is central to the Wills Group’s culture and values.