Selah, WA – Thanks to the support of Rainier Fruit and hungry pear shoppers, Harris Teeter, Wegmans and Lunds & Byerlys recently made a big difference in their local communities with the donation of over 20,000 pairs of socks to five charitable organizations.
The donations were the culmination of the seasonal cause marketing program Pears for Pairs that provided in-store marketing with a portion of the proceeds of all Rainier Fruit pear sales being donated to the Hanes Charity Sock Drive. Each participating retailer was able to select the local charity of their choice and direct their donations where they were needed most.
During the weeks of January 28th and February 4th, Rainier Fruit representatives joined retail representatives and local media at the following charity locations making individual donations of 2500 to 5000 pairs of socks per location.
The Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, NC
The Salvation Army of Winston-Salem, NC
St. Stephens Human Service of Minneapolis, MN
Victims Resource Center of Wilkes Barre, PA
Schulykill Women in Crisis of Pottsville, PA
“As a family company, we’re committed to making a difference in the communities we serve, and always appreciate an opportunity to partner with like-minded companies, like Rainier Fruit, to make a bigger impact,” said Linda Lovejoy, Wegmans community relations manager. “The Pears for Pairs program is a great example of how communities thrive when we all work together.”
Thanks to the participation of local TV and print media, in addition to the donation of socks, local charities were also able to share more information on their programs and services. These donations came at a critical time as the polar vortex was making itself known around the country delivering below normal temperatures throughout the U.S. putting additional stress on the resources of charities that support the homeless and at risk populations. The homeless population in the U.S. continues to grow, and at least 3.5 million individuals experience homelessness each year.
Danna Robinson, Communications Manager at Harris Teeter remarked, “The grocery business centers around food – not just feeding people, but also feeding neighborhoods which nourish vibrant communities.” Robinson continued, “Harris Teeter is grateful for generous partners like Rainier Fruit that allow us to make a difference through contributions to local organizations which provide help where help is needed.”
In addition to 20,000 pairs of donated socks, Rainier Fruit helped participating retailers drive high double digit increases in year over year volume sales. Mark Zirkle, CEO of Rainier Fruit commented, “As growers, our first priority is to grow and sell high quality fruit. Our success affords us the opportunity to make a difference in a variety of platforms that include health and wellness, as well as community giving.” Zirkle continued, “It’s thanks to the work of our dedicated team members that ideas like Pears for Pairs take on a life of their own. In this case it allowed us to shine a light on the growing problem of homelessness and at risk populations and we look forward to growing this program and other cause marketing ideas that support our retail partners and allow them to give back in their local communities.”
About Rainier Fruit: Rainier Fruit is a multi-generation, vertically integrated fruit company based in Selah, WA. For more than 100 years, Rainier Fruit has cultivated a culture of stewardship that extends from their orchards to their communities that has made them an industry leader in the production of apples, pears, cherries and blueberries.