When Doug Anderson announced to his staff that the business would be supporting STARS in a number of ways, including selling the nonprofit’s merchandise in stores, the reaction was unexpected.

Not only did staff get behind the idea, but nearly half of them shared heartfelt stories of friends and loved ones being cared for by STARS over the past 30 years. For Anderson, that bolstered his view that the alignment between Peavey’s rural roots and STARS was strong.

“The positive response was overwhelming,” said Anderson, CEO of Peavey Industries. “So many people with cousins, brothers, fathers-in-law and sisters who were carried by STARS shared their stories with me. It was neat to see the real and direct impact on people’s lives, making it really easy to support.”

This summer marks a year since Peavey Industries and STARS teamed up to sell merchandise in 43 Peavey Mart stores across Western Canada and MainStreet Hardware stores in Alberta.

“The reaction in stores was positive right from the start,” said Anderson. “Our customers have a high level of awareness and appreciation for STARS. When we see them in town wearing the hats or hoodies it’s nice to know that we are helping to bring awareness to an important organization.”

The relationship between the two organizations began about the same time Anderson participated in one of STARS’ annual Rescue fundraisers. Anderson was one of a handful of senior corporate leaders dropped off in a remote location while money was raised to “rescue” them. His involvement generated more than $230,000 for STARS from staff, customers and suppliers.

“I felt so proud coming out of the Rescue campaign,” said Anderson. “Not only was it an easy cause for myself, our staff and customers to get behind, it really helped me form more meaningful relationships with the employees.”

Going forward, watch for events supporting STARS in stores this June, as well as merchandise on sale throughout the year.