Ace Hardware retailers focused on building strong youth and communities
Inaugural Community Involvement Survey reveals the many ways Ace retailers give back to the communities they serve
Ace Hardware Corporation, the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the world, is pleased to share the results of its first-ever retailer Community Involvement Survey,* which set out to determine how Ace store owners and associates give back to the communities they serve. The 2015 survey results, which generated responses from 353 retail stores, indicated that while Ace retailers contribute to various causes and charitable initiatives – from veteran’s organizations and ending homelessness to disaster relief and environmental causes – a majority of respondents are involved in supporting local youth-based organizations and advocacy programs.
“Our local Ace owners continue to demonstrate that a servant heart is not the enemy of a successful business, but rather the enabler of it,” said John Venhuizen, president and CEO of Ace Hardware Corporation. “These local red-vested heroes rarely show up on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, but their sacrificial giving to and in the communities they serve is the very stuff that makes Ace, not just a helpful place, but a special place.”
The Ace Community Involvement Survey is a biannual survey of the socially responsible business practices of Ace retailers, including philanthropic activities and environmental stewardship. The survey tracks the volunteerism hours, monetary donations and value of in-kind products and services provided by Ace retailers and their retail associates.
Key highlights from this year’s survey revealed Ace retailers (who participated in the survey and reported their charitable activity for 2014**) and their store associates gave in the following ways:
- 99% of retailers who participated in the survey** donated money to a charitable organization or cause
- 88% contributed to youth education and advocacy programs in 2014, including Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Big Brothers Big Sisters
- 84% contributed to youth sports activities, including PeeWee football or cheerleading, little league teams and local school teams
- 55% contributed to organizations that support Veterans initiatives and programs
- 52% contributed to fighting hunger with organizations such as Feeding America, or their local food bank
- 71% contributed to humanitarian and community organizations such as The United Way, YMCA, Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity
- 57% of store associates volunteered in their community, not on behalf of their local Ace Hardware store
- 85% of Ace stores implemented some type of environmentally sustainable practice, 69% have recycling programs
“Being involved with our local youth organizations in Nashville is important for Hart Ace Hardware, as it seemed only natural to support the organizations that make up the fabric of the communities we’re in,” said Robin Shope, secretary and treasurer of Hart Ace Hardware. “As a small business, it’s our duty and honor to be able to help local youth organizations succeed anyway that they can.”
“As someone who grew up in a small rural area, I know firsthand what it’s like to not be able to grow or learn as a child due to a lack of youth programs or organizations,” said JoAnn Calvin, owner of Ace Hardware Corporation in Snowflake, Ariz. “By giving back to our local youth organizations, we’re not only fostering the future of young people in our local community, we’re giving back to the individuals who support our business.”
Ace Hardware and its retailers also have a history of supporting youth-based organizations on a national level through the Ace Hardware Foundation and its partnership with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Over the past 24 years, the Ace Foundation has raised more than $72 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. In 2015 alone, the Ace Foundation raised $7.1 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals through retailer, employee and vendor fundraising.
*Disclaimer: Survey findings based on 353 responses from Ace Hardware retail stores. Survey respondents self-selected to participate in survey. Ace Hardware stores are independently owned and operated, and as such, efforts related to Corporate Social Responsibility may vary. These results are not necessarily representative of all Ace Hardware stores.
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For more than 90 years, Ace Hardware has been known as the place with the helpful hardware folks in thousands of neighborhoods across America, providing customers with a more personal kind of helpful. In 2015, Ace ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Home Improvement Retail Stores, Nine Years in a Row,” according to J.D. Power. With more than 4,800 hardware stores locally owned and operated across the globe, Ace is the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the world. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., Ace and its subsidiaries currently operate 17 distribution centers in the U.S. and also have distribution capabilities in Shanghai, China; Panama City, Panama; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Its retailers' stores are located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and approximately 60 countries. For more information on Ace, visit www.acehardware.com.