For Joe Fokken, store manager of Cubby’s in Sioux City, Iowa and Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, it all started with a visit to the grocery store in 2012. “The two gals that started Support Siouxland Soldiers were set up at the front end of a grocery store selling T-shirts,” says Fokken. “I listened to their story, bought a couple T-shirts. It swelled from there. Next thing I knew, we were doing a care pack event."
Since that fateful grocery trip, Joe Fokken and the retail employees of the Dakota Dunes Cenex, with the support of Cubby’s Inc., have donated time and funds to Support Siouxland Soldiers, a local organization that helps support over 180,000 military veterans and active and inactive soldiers and their families.
The first care pack event was on Armed Forces Day in 2012. Fokken invited the community to package nonperishable items at the Cubby’s store in Sioux City, Iowa. The packages were sent to Siouxland soldiers on active duty. During the event, Fokken raffled $500 of Cenex gift cards, and all proceeds went to Support Siouxland Soldiers for upcoming care pack events.
The community’s giving goes beyond these planned events, explains Fokken. “You hear of a need. There’s always other folk you know who can jump in and do something.”
Fokken recalls one story in particular. A woman from Sioux City was moving to Wyoming for work. But with her husband in Kuwait, she only had her parents to help her move. Fokken and other members of the community volunteered to help her load the moving truck. “Obviously they didn’t have anyone else, and they needed someone to help them,” says Fokken. “That was pretty rewarding.”
On Valentine’s Day this year, Cubby’s partnered with Support Siouxland Soldiers to organize Operation Date Night. Post-9/11 veterans and active military personnel were provided dinner vouchers, movie passes and free car washes from the Dakota Dunes store. The donation included $1,500 from Cubby’s.
Fokken says this dedication to community service is part of the Cubby’s culture. “The whole Cubby’s clan is about community involvement and doing what you can to help folks. I just feel very fortunate to be working for a company that lets me do that.”
To learn more about Support Siouxland Soldiers, visit supportsiouxlandsoldiers.com.
Do you someone who deserves recognition for his or her good deeds? Nominate them at cenex.com/tanks-of-thanks.
This is the first post in our Retailer Spotlight series. Every month, we’ll feature a Cenex retailer who has gone above and beyond to serve his or her community.
Images courtesy of Support Siouxland Soldiers.