April 5, 2012

Fuel funding for a cure

by

Wouldn’t it be ideal if you could throw a few bucks toward curing diabetes when you stop to fill-up your car? There is a mastermind who asked the same question and found a way to make it happen.

Sammy M. Eljamal, president of Wholesale Fuels, a FuelCo subsidiary, was able to exceed thee expectations of what a service station can be by what he did  in various Shell, Mobil and BP stations in the Northeast. He raised $20,000 for the Diabetes Research Institute by leveraging a few sites to see what it could do for DRI fundraising.

Eljamal plans to expand the fundraising promotion to more retailers and their outlets across the United States. Good! This means I can throw a few dollars at the DRI every time I fuel at a participating station. I’m getting rewarded for driving an SUV. I knew sub 20 mpg would be fortuitous someday, somehow.

One of the biggest hurdles to fundraising is finding the right time to ask. The register of a gas station is a bold place to do it. Imagine you just spent a few Jacksons to fill your tank. What’s another few bucks toward a philanthropic cause to commiserate with another captive audience – people with type 1 diabetes?

Eljamal was influenced to begin fundraising for a cure when he met Matthew Sanchez. Matthew is a 12 year old boy with type 1 diabetes. Crystal Blaylock Sanchez is Matthew’s mother. She is also the president of Blaylock Oil and the lead organizer of the fishing tournament, which is how Eljamal became initially involved in the fundraising effort.

Eljamal pledged $20,000 instantly and vowed to pay it personally if the scannables didn’t sell. However, with the dedication and support of General Manager Hani Sadallah, the promotion was a tremendous success. In six short weeks, by selling $1 scannable cards, the total pledge of $20,000 was fulfilled.

“People asked questions; they were impressed with our efforts and wanted to participate individually,” said Elajamal of Westchester County, NY. “One customer handed a cashier $100, but asked for only one card. This is only the beginning. We hope to raise millions for the Diabetes Research Institute so that the scientists there can find a cure for diabetes.”

The outcome of this campaign proves undeniable success. Any retailers interested in running a scannable fundraising campaign should contact the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation at 1-800-321-3437 or info@drif.org.

Visit Your Diabetes Health for more resources about health.