When school starts in Lehigh Acres, Florida, it will look a little different this year depending on whether families choose in-person classes, distance or virtual learning for their kids. But one thing is the same for these students, Franchisee Preet Parihar is giving out 100 free backpacks with school supplies to students in need, just as she has the past three years.
Each year, Preet purchases backpacks and school supplies to fill them – pens, pencils, paper, crayons along with some delicious 7-Select treats and snacks. At the first-come, first-served “backpack-to-school” event, Preet and her staff made a party out of it – displaying the backpacks on a table decorated with red, green and orange 7-Eleven balloons. Kids – and parents – left with backpacks and smiles behind masks.
In Florida, and across the country, many families are facing financial difficulties. Parents have been laid off, furloughed without pay or trying to juggle virtual school at home with essential jobs.
With the loss of income for many of my customers, it’s a real challenge to fill those backpacks, and we want to help anyone in need.
“I’ve been a small business owner in Lehigh Acres for seven years and have received great trust and support from the community,” Preet said. “We want to show our support in return and help our community as we go through these difficult times together.”
The community-minded Franchisee, who owns and operates two stores in southwest Florida, is known for her generosity and kindness. At Christmas, Preet makes sure Santa makes an appearance at her stores, much to young shoppers’ delight. Although COVID-19 cancelled plans for this year’s annual 7-Eleven Day celebration, she typically takes the fun beyond just free Slurpee drinks with games and activities targeted to local kids.
“Preet is very humble and is never looking for attention, but she does so much for her community,” said Market Manager Kent Curran. Preet is a perfect example of what it means to be a 7-Eleven hero – customer-obsessed, and always, always doing the right thing.”
Congratulations, Preet, on being named a 7-Eleven Hero!