Counting Blessings: Exxpress Mart and Other Local Businesses Help the Gift of Life Save Lives

reindeer_1Endorsing the Gift of Life’s mission to save lives, Tri-Con, Inc. dba Exxpress Mart owners, Imad and Elias Sarkis, implemented a holiday giving campaign at their 20 regional convenience stores, generating nearly $15,000 to further the organization’s health and educational programs.

During the holiday season, Exxpress Mart employees encouraged customers to make a donation to the Gift of Life by purchasing a festive paper reindeer that symbolized their support of the organization and provided much-needed funds for its expansion of healthcare services. Thousands of Southeast Texas residents charitably supported Exxpress Mart’s community initiative, contributing to a unique grassroots effort that benefits individuals residing in the Gift of Life’s seven-county service area.

“Though the landscape of healthcare is changing, one aspect of medical care that hasn’t changed is the critical need for lifesaving cancer screenings and education in our community,” said Regina Rogers, Gift of Life Founder and Chair. “The contributions from Exxpress Mart and its customers are a blessing for the Gift of Life at a time when the need for our services is increasing, while traditional funding avenues are diminishing. We are grateful for this phenomenal show of support because it will truly save lives.”

Leading by example, the Sarkis brothers contributed more than $5,000 of additional funding in loving memory of their beloved father, the late Samir Sarkis, whose extraordinary legacy of hard work and generous spirit inspired them to build a successful family business and give back to the region. The entire donation of $20,000 furthers the Gift of Life’s lifesaving mission throughout seven Southeast Texas counties.reindeer_4

Twenty regional Exxpress Mart locations participated in the Holiday Reindeer Campaign, inspiring a friendly, competitive spirit to raise the most money for the Gift of Life. The top-earning store was Exxpress Mart 12 (located in Lumberton) which raised $4,270. The store managers and employees at the location were celebrated by the Gift of Life with gifts of appreciation for their outstanding performance.

“The Sarkis family is deeply committed to the needs of people in our region,” said Norma Sampson, Gift of Life Executive Director. “Not only did they conceive of this incredible way to help, but their heartfelt connection to individuals who lack access to lifesaving healthcare services was illuminated by the way they actively participated in this campaign. We are humbled recipients of their benevolence and goodwill.”

Additionally, nearly 100 local Southeast Texas convenience stores and businesses also participated in the Gift of Life Holiday Reindeer Campaign, generating benevolent support for the organization’s free healthcare services for local men and women in need and raising critical awareness about the mission of the Gift of Life throughout the region.

Annually, the Gift of Life provides nearly 2,300 free mammograms and clinical breast exams for medically underserved individuals, with follow-up diagnostic evaluations for those who require additional testing and treatment. Additionally, the Gift of Life has made available nearly 8,500 free prostate cancer screenings, with diagnostic and treatment costs entirely underwritten by the organization. Since inception, the organization has helped extend the lives of more than 275 individuals who have been diagnosed with breast or prostate cancer and navigated through treatment and healing.


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