Hensley, like most every other company in the world right now, is facing the biggest challenge of our 65-year history as we battle the current crisis to human health and economic survival resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are fighting financial repercussions to our company and to our nation’s economy, we are making real-time and constant daily changes to our workflow and dynamics, and we are asking our employees to step outside their comfort zone and normal job functions to help us help ourselves as a company by doing whatever is necessary to protect our most valuable assets – our employees, their families & our community. And, at the same time and in typical Hensley fashion, our company will come out stronger knowing that we continued our tradition and mission of helping those less fortunate along the way.
Andy McCain believes strongly in giving back to our community and shares his thoughts, “I consider it Hensley’s civic and moral duty and obligation, as a community member and neighbor, to use our resources to not only safeguard our company and employees but to help those requiring much-needed assistance in Arizona because of the current world crisis. The examples of giving below are just some of the ways that we have chosen to render assistance. As time goes on, more will be done to the extent of our ability to help and I appreciate the efforts being made by our first-in-class employees.”
One of the first organizations to immediately benefit from a Hensley contribution was the Arizona Community Foundation (ACF). ACF formed the Arizona COVID-19 Community Response Fund to provide immediate relief to non-profit organizations in Arizona facing increased demand for services from clients and communities as a result of the pandemic. This fund has awarded grants to over 150 nonprofit organizations across the state. These community organizations are addressing a wide range of needs including food security, healthcare, health well-being, mental health, eldercare, childcare, education support, and human services. This includes making emergency food deliveries, particularly for seniors and those with chronic health conditions, families in poverty, help with shelter for our veterans, aid to health professionals, first responders, and essential workers, and providing safe and accessible childcare options during extended school closures. “We are incredibly grateful to the entire Hensley team, for their contributions to the Arizona COVID-19 Community Response Fund. This gift is an excellent example of how our community takes care of its members most in need,” said ACF President & CEO Steve Seleznow. “For people hurting and struggling, the symbolic and emotional value of your grants are as important as the financial value. Thank you for taking swift action to help your neighbors during this time of crisis.”
Another important financial contribution went to Local First Arizona (LFA) and their Small Business Relief Fund. Hensley has a long history and partnership with LFA and understands the importance of their mission. LFA is using these funds to provide immediate assistance to locally-owned small business owners at risk because of COVID-19. With our help, they have, thus far, assisted 238 family-owned businesses to help them survive the crisis. Kimber Lanning, Executive Director of LFA, is very appreciative of the contribution and said, “It is with immense gratitude that we thank you for stepping up during this unprecedented time of need. When life returns to normal, we will need these small businesses to be ready to rebuild the economy and restore the vitality of our communities.”
Our marketing team, led by Jason Byers, has been innovative in their approach to helping local businesses by creating Raise One for Arizona Restaurants. Hensley has partnered with Arizona Sports 98.7 FM and the Arizona Restaurant Relief Fund to build a platform to raffle off assets that Anheuser-Busch, Hensley, and Four Peaks already had in current contracts and items that were donated by sports teams. Anyone can visit RaiseOneforAZ.com and make a minimal donation to the Restaurant Relief Fund to support local restaurants, taverns, and the employees that have been so terribly affected by this pandemic. Those who donate will be entered to win amazing local sports experiences, such as enjoying the pool at Chase Field for a D-Backs game, sitting pit row at PIR, and much more. Pre-Promotional Window: Friday, May 15 – Sunday, May 17, 2020. Promotional Window: Monday, May 18 – Sunday, May 31, 2020.
Along these same lines, Hensley is encouraging our employees to help where they can by patronizing retail outlets & local restaurants and ordering food to go or picking up food from drive-thru eateries as a way to keep favorite restaurants and businesses alive while rules are in place about not serving food on-premise. Chad Marston, Hensley’s Chief Sales Officer, has this to say: “Restaurants, bars, golf courses, and venues historically make up roughly 20% of our overall business and will be an important part of our growth as we come out of this COVID-19 shutdown. Hensley is actively supporting these partners through donations, charity outreach programs, and the purchase of $50 On-Premise gift cards that we are distributing to our front-line employees to provide cash flow for store owners, wait staff, and bartenders. When you do go out, please thank the owner and/or employees of these establishments and remind them that Hensley stands with them.”
Our company also provided significant support to Phoenix Children’s Hospital City of Phoenix Pediatric Health Care Initiative Fund. Since the onset of the pandemic in March, children’s hospitals have experienced significant losses and increased costs. As the only and essential provider of care for the most complex pediatric cancer, cardiac, trauma, and acutely ill infants and children, maintaining financial strength and a complete delivery system is imperative, so Hensley felt a duty to contribute to this extremely essential cause.
The following are additional examples of ways that our company and our employees are giving back:
Hensley is partnering with Pima County Food Bank and the National Guard to provide temporary cold storage in our Tucson warehouse for perishable food items, supporting folks in need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Per Alex Dunn, VP Operations, “Our warehouse team was asked to sacrifice space and move some parts of their operation to accommodate over three truckloads of non-stackable fruit, and to also provide operating space to break down full pallets and load for delivery. Their willingness to help their community is a testament to the great people that make up the team in our Tucson warehouse.”
Hensley employees were made aware of the possibility to donate at a blood drive at Chase Field in partnership with Budweiser and the Arizona Diamondbacks April 28-30. The drive was organized with the American Red Cross to help replenish desperately needed blood supplies throughout Arizona.
Of course, as Hensley has done many times in the past, we are donating great quantities of water and non-alcoholic beverages where needed. The Salvation Army reached out for aid to help families that are in dire need of food and water, now more than ever. Our contributions will be added to food boxes that are dispensed daily.
Mike Grimes, Tucson Segment Manager, helped facilitate a donation of 15,000 bottles of water to the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Association (SALEF) and to the Tucson Fire Department (TFD). This is another way that Hensley is showing our thanks and appreciation to these first responders. This large quantity should help keep them hydrated during the coming hot summer months as they do their part in keeping everyone safe.
Our company also provided 68 cases of water to the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit through the Arizona Department of Public Safety to help them keep hydrated while on duty when dealing with situations arising from the pandemic. These front-line workers are necessary to render assistance and keep everyone safe.
Hensley is very proud of our own Mary Willey, Show Low Office Administrator, who is personally making face masks for family members, fellow employees, and surrounding businesses including a local college, a veterinary office, and for employees of a nearby auto parts store. She has made nearly 150 masks so far and continues to make more.
Also, in a coordinated effort with Anheuser-Busch, we have delivered cases of hand sanitizer to the Food Bank of Southern Arizona in Tucson, St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix, and United Food Bank of Mesa.
Nick Kieffer and Marcos Acosta, Phoenix Brand Team, were able to secure donated cases of Sparkling Ice and Vita Coco from our suppliers for emergency room workers at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. The team also delivered cases of water and non-alcohol products to Phoenix Fire Station #15 on May 4th, which was National Firefighter’s Day.
Kevan Hegg, Segment Manager On-Premise for Northern Arizona, presented a $2,500 check to the Flagstaff Community Food Bank on behalf of Hensley. These funds will provide critical food supplies where they are most needed.
All these examples of giving back show that the Hensley spirit is alive and well, regardless of the challenges we are facing. We will get through these tough times together by staying on task and staying strong. Thank you for your understanding, cooperation, flexibility, and help during this incredibly surreal and difficult time. Keep up the great work!