Wal-Mart Creates Online Missing Persons Picture Board at Walmart.com and Samsclub.com

Bentonville, Arkansas, Sept. 20, 2005 – In an ongoing effort to help reunite families and missing loved ones from Hurricane Katrina, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is providing a missing persons picture board online at Walmart.com (www.walmart.com) and Samsclub.com (www.samsclub.com) from photographic images uploaded from the in-store Digital Photo Center Kiosks. 

This complimentary service allows individuals, unsure of the whereabouts of loved ones, to upload a picture online of the person they’re trying to contact.  The upload includes a photo and contact phone number. Also, if an individual prefers to place an image of themselves on the board for others to contact them, they can visit a local Wal-Mart store or SAM’S CLUB to have their photo taken and uploaded online.

“We have customers and associates from the affected area all over the country now,” said Sharon Wibben, vice president of photo operations for Wal-Mart.  “We hope this complimentary, missing persons photo service helps them connect with their loved ones wherever they may be.”

The online picture board is just one more service that Wal-Mart is providing to help hurricane victims. 

  • The company has also set up an Emergency Contact Service that allows Wal-Mart associates and customers to post messages and search for loved ones at in-store kiosks,  Walmart.com, walmartfacts.com, walmartstores.com, samsclub.com and walmartfoundation.org websites.  More than 50,000 people have accessed the message board.
  • In-store Gift Registry kiosks were made available to victims to sign up for items needed so that others across the country could see those needs and assist in purchasing and sending items to those persons.
  • Wal-Mart donated more than 150 computers to Red Cross Shelters, giving access to evacuees to communicate through the Internet.
  • As of Friday, Wal-Mart had dispatched 2,450 trailer loads of water and emergency supplies and products to the affected areas, including more than $3 million in donated merchandise to relief shelters and impacted areas.
  • Wal-Mart has donated $17 million in cash to aid emergency relief efforts, including $15 million to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund, $1 million to the Salvation Army and $1 million to the American Red Cross.  Customers and members can still donate at all store and clubs or online to the Red Cross, Salvation Army and Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund through www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmart.com, www.walmartfoundation.org, www.walmartstores.com, www.samsclub.com.
  • Additionally, Wal-Mart has donated the use of 22 former facilities to various relief agencies.  More buildings are being evaluated for potential uses.  These are free of charge, and Wal-Mart is covering all utility costs.

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