2023 Community

Engagement Report

Planting seeds for flourishing communities

In 2023, the Wills Group’s efforts were seeded by the understanding that strong relationships are the roots of healthy and vibrant communities.

We started where it matters most, meeting the basic needs of people and communities through our two Signature Programs: Nourishing Children and Families and Reimagining Outdoor Spaces. In all of our efforts, we followed our philosophy to work hand-in-hand with our communities, listen to their needs, and develop strong partnerships with our neighbors – to keep Lives in Motion.

Joe Wills of the Wills Group participating in Community Engagement work

Spreading roots
across the Mid-Atlantic region

We’re committed to working across our market with local organizations and communities to create pathways and places for families and communities to thrive.


To improve access to food for people with limited transportation, the Wills Group supported the Food Bank of Delaware’s free home delivery program that delivers food boxes each month.


The Wills Group supported a class of students for Maryland Food Bank’s FoodWorks program – a 12 week culinary training for under-resourced communities to serve as a pathway to future employment.


The Wills Group supported Feed More Freddie, a retrofitted school bus that delivers fresh food to children. Freddie stops at schools and community organizations to fuel learning and growth.

By the numbers

$6 Million+
donated since 2006

nonprofits supported

grants distributed

total grants & investments

raised at Blackie Wills Golf Classic

employee participation in Match Campaign

$6 Million+
donated since 2006

nonprofits supported

$1 million+
total grants & investments

raised at Blackie Wills Golf Classic

grants distributed

employee participation in Match Campaign

Keep Virginia Beautiful award

Achievements and honors

For the third consecutive year, the Wills Group was awarded Washington Business Journal’s Corporate Philanthropy Award, and Dash In was recognized as a Make Beautiful Your Business partner by Keep Virginia Beautiful for local investments in the communities where Dash In stores are located.

Cultivating community and impact

Community-based Collaboration & Partnerships

Building local relationships and engaging the community

In collaboration with local community members, the Wills Group unveiled the newly revitalized Tanglewood Park in Clinton, MD in July 2023. Located near two Dash In stores, the park project brought together local neighbors, artists, and the County together to bring vibrancy back into the space with a colorful mural displayed across the beloved basketball court, new benches, an ADA-compliant path, and new landscaping.

Tanglewood Park celebration in Clinton, Maryland with community members

“Now, when we visit [Tanglewood Park], there are children and families enjoying the space, playing on the basketball court and hosting cookouts. It’s really wonderful to see. Working with the Wills Group, we were able to bridge people with partnerships to bring the community’s vision for this park to life.”

Mavis Turner, President of MTC Art Studios

Community engagement partner speaks at annual Blackie Wills Golf Classic
“Our annual Blackie Wills Golf Classic is instrumental in advancing our Community Engagement goals, and I am overwhelmed by the generosity of our sponsors year-over-year. Dollars raised at this year’s event will support our work in partnership with Oasis Fresh Foods Market to provide essential food resources to residents in Indian Head, Maryland, a longstanding food desert.”

Blackie Wills, President & CEO of the Wills Group

Community Giving With Our Business Partners

Engaging our business partners in community giving

Since 2017, the Wills Group and our companies, including Dash In, Splash In ECO Car Wash, and SMO Motor Fuels, have raised more than $2.7 million at the annual Blackie Wills Golf Classic. All proceeds are dedicated to investing in programs that address food insecurity and the revitalization of public spaces to support our communities across the Mid-Atlantic region.

Employee Engagement And Volunteerism

Wills Group employees are the heart of community engagement

Throughout the year, our employees collaborated closely with local communities, dedicating nearly 400 volunteer hours to various community engagement projects with our partners such as Farming 4 Hunger, Capital Area Food Bank, LifeStyles of Southern Maryland, Melwood, and others. Initiatives like Melwood’s Camp Accomplish “Grow it, Make it, Eat it” camp week provided our employees with the opportunity to actively participate in tasks like weeding, harvesting, and distributing vegetables.

Wills Group employee Barbara volunteers with students at Melwood Camp Accomplish event
“Much like Melwood, the Wills Group has social impact and community at the center of its mission. The generosity and commitment of Wills Group employees have allowed us to create connections over cooking and gardening that will fuel not just healthy bodies, but also help create a sense of community.”

Larysa Kautz, President & CEO of Melwood

Sprouting projects for 2024

The Wills Group is always looking for opportunities to grow new relationships in the communities where our employees and customers live and work.

Oasis Fresh Foods Market

We have teamed up with Oasis Fresh Foods Market to establish a community garden for the residents of Indian Head, MD. The town has been without a grocery store for nearly 25 years, but in 2024, it will be home to both an Oasis community grocery store and garden, as well as a new Dash In convenience store.

Dash In community grants

In an exciting new program, Dash In and Splash In ECO Car Wash teams can nominate local non-profit organizations for community grants that support the Wills Group’s Signature Programs. Nominated projects can include a community garden or mural project, a neighborhood clean-up, or a food drive and food distribution activity.

Download the 2023 Community Engagement Report

Wills Group community engagement partners

Thank you to our incredible partners for their role in supporting our work to keep Lives in Motion.*


  • Keep Delaware Beautiful
  • Our Daily Bread Dining Room of Mot, Inc.
  • Rose Hill Community Center


  • Dulles South Food Pantry
  • Keep Loudoun Beautiful
  • Keep Virginia Beautiful
  • Loudoun Hunger Relief
  • Henrico Community Food Bank


  • Baltimore Green Space
  • Farm to School Frederick
  • Frederick Green
  • Melwood
  • Paul’s Place
  • Oasis Fresh Foods Market
  • Greater Urbana Area Food Bank
  • LifeStyles of Maryland Foundation, Inc.
  • Neighborhood Design Center
  • Port Tobacco River Conservancy
  • Charles County Arts Alliance, Inc.

*Wills Group and Dash In partners are listed above, an additional 20 nonprofits were supported in 2023.