Valero knows that being a good operator also means being a good neighbor. The company demonstrates its commitment to all of its communities through a variety of philanthropic efforts, volunteer activities and educational support programs.
For a third consecutive time, Valero made the list of America’s 50 most community-minded major companies, The Civic 50, and was recognized as the list's top energy-sector company. The list is an annual initiative of Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, recognizing companies for their commitment to improve the quality of life in communities where they do business.
Overall in 2015, Valero and its philanthropic organization generated more than $40 million for worthy charities or causes, through direct donations or fundraising.
Always a leading supporter of the United Way as a two-time national Spirit of America Award winner, Valero and its employees pledged more than $11.8 million to the United Way in 2015, for donations in 2016, including a company match – up nearly 6 percent from the year before. In Canada, company and employee donations to Centraide/United Way approached $660,000.
- The company raised $10.5 million for children’s charities across the United States in 2016 through the Valero Texas Open and Benefit for Children. The contribution is the largest charity gift on the PGA TOUR. Since Valero became the title sponsor of the event in 2002, it has raised $111.4 million.
- In addition, the Valero Energy Foundation – Valero’s philanthropic arm – annually contributes $13 million to $20 million to improve the lives of those who live in or near the communities where Valero has major operations, funding nonprofit agencies that serve predominantly disadvantaged children and families within four pillars:
- Basic Needs (food, shelter): In 2015, the Valero Energy Foundation provided approximately $3 million in assistance to agencies that provide basic needs of life to disadvantaged children and families, including shelter, food and clothing necessary for the development of a strong community and for individual self-sufficiency. Support for emergency shelters, children's homes and area food banks are just a few examples of this support.
- Education: Valero is a strong advocate of education and contributes to programs, agencies or organizations that share the same focus. In 2015, the foundation provided nearly $4 million in support to education-related programs throughout the U.S. The company additionally supports mentoring programs, school-supply and uniform drives and “Career Days” at area schools; provides internships for various degree programs; and is title sponsor of the Valero Alamo Bowl, which has awarded approximately $2.1 million in scholarships.
- Health care: Overall in 2015, the foundation provided about $3.6 million in support to various health-care providers and health-related programs and services. Major gifts include support of various children's hospitals as well as university medical centers for research to discover cures for Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis and cancer.
- Civic/Arts & Culture: Valero believes in improving the quality of life for all in the communities where it has major operations. Through its support of civic programs and the arts, Valero and the Valero Energy Foundation provided nearly $2 million in support of quality arts programs, including partnerships with art, history and children's museums, as well as digital media in schools.
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- Canada's Benefit for Children golf tournament, under the Valero Energy Foundation of Canada, has raised $4.7 million for children’s charities throughout Quebec, Ontario and the Atlantic provinces the past 12 years. The event in 2016 raised $442,400.
- Valero’s cycling team, Velo Valero, is one of the top fundraising teams in the annual Bike MS: Valero Ride to the River event. Valero Energy Foundation renewed its title sponsorship of the event through 2017, securing its leadership in raising funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s South Central Chapter. Velo Valero teams at several locations raised a total of more than $230,000 in rides benefiting the National MS Society as well as the American Diabetes Association in 2015.
Established in 1983, the Valero Volunteer Council is comprised of dedicated employees at each location who lead local volunteer efforts in their communities. Through the years, the councils have built a strong bond with many local charities, organizations and agencies helping to improve quality of life. Volunteer Councils assemble on their own time to discuss the needs of each community.
- Valero employees log more than 135,000 volunteer hours each year for hundreds of community projects, including mentorships, shelter support, holiday events, emergency relief and a host of other activities.
- Valero is a strong supporter of food banks wherever it operates, sponsoring several food drives each year. Since 2008, Valero's corporate employees have donated more than 1 million pounds of food to the San Antonio Food Bank, in addition to efforts at other locations. The drives are essential in helping countless families, schools and individuals who depend upon assistance from the community food banks and pantries.
- Valero Volunteers additionally have built numerous Habitat for Humanity homes throughout Valero’s communities. The projects often serve as teambuilding exercises, with employees working side-by-side with future homeowners until completion. The Valero Energy Foundation has contributed more than half a million dollars since 2008, and thousands of volunteer hours helping to sponsor or build Habitat homes in virtually every region.
Valero supports many worthy military organizations, such as Operation Comfort, Operation Homefront, USO San Antonio, the Admiral Nimitz Foundation and others. For the 11th consecutive Thanksgiving Day, about 400 members of the U.S. military in 2015 were treated to a traditional holiday meal at headquarters, while 175 Valero Volunteers and their families served a traditional holiday meal and entertained their young military guests.