Bowling Green, KY, Dec. 8, 2006 – Wal-Mart Associates and volunteers for The Salvation Army scurried around the Walton Road SuperCenter today like Santa’s elves trying to undo a problem thieves have caused for needy families in the region. Three times, The Salvation Army facility on Glen Lilly Road has been broken into with “grinches” stealing tens of thousands of dollars in toys, clothing, shoes and bicycles.
“Every year, we make a special effort to reach out to those less fortunate during the holidays to try and bring a promise of hope to those families,” said Captain Roy Hicks of The Salvation Army in Bowling Green. “With three break-ins and the loss of so many gifts, the prospect of a nice Christmas for some needy families looked terribly bleak – that is until Wal-Mart stepped in.”
Wal-Mart offered to replace as much of the merchandise as it could with a special shopping spree this morning. Associates from other stores in the region were brought in to assist volunteers in filling Christmas orders.
“We always welcome opportunities to give something back to the community that supports us,” said market manager, Bruce Upchurch. “When we heard the news about the thefts and considered how devastating that could be to some needy families in the region, it only made sense that we get involved – especially given the relationship Wal-Mart has with The Salvation Army locally and beyond.”
“Wal-Mart has been so supportive of us over the years,” said Captain Hicks. “But this gift to replace the stolen goods is going above and beyond – all in the interests of families in need.”
Wal-Mart has been a supporter of The Salvation Army for more than 20 years. Last year, the Army collected $27 million from Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club, including $26 million from the kettle drive in front of stores. That accounted for nearly one-fourth of total contributions to the Red Kettle campaign. The funds that the Salvation Army raised last year helped approximately 31 million individuals.
This year, Salvation Army bell ringers are collecting donations in front of more than 3,900 Wal-Mart stores, Sam’s Clubs and Neighborhood Markets across the country.
To celebrate the company’s 20-plus year commitment to the Red Kettle campaign, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club hosted the first-ever "Bells Ringing Across America" event in November. During this time, associates staffed the kettles at every store and club nationwide, ringing the bells and inviting customers to support the annual campaign. To kick off the event, a check for $1.25 million was presented to Major George Hood, National Community Relations and Development Secretary for The Salvation Army.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, more than 127 million customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Clubs across America. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $245 million to local United States communities. To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmart.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.