Our heartfelt thoughts go out to the many individuals and families affected by Hurricane Katrina. I felt it important to share a few thoughts on what we can do as individuals, and as businesses, during this time.
First, in the appropriate way for you, let’s make sure we offer our thoughts and prayers to the individuals and families affected by this tragedy. This is a terrible situation which has impacted the lives of many, including our own associates, customers and friends. We can only hope that the situation is resolved soon.
Support for those affected communities is so important right now. We feel a responsibility to make sure we take care of our customers and associates. One of the most important things we can do right now is support the emergency relief efforts taking place. They are in need of financial contributions. We have contributed $1 million in cash to the Salvation Army to help with activities such as providing 400,000 meals per day and portable showers, and another $1 million in cash to the American Red Cross to run their shelters and provide relief. Additionally, $15 million from Walmart has been committed for other relief efforts. We are also donating truckloads of supplies such as water and ice to the emergency services in these areas.
To make it convenient for people to donate to this effort, we are accepting donations for these relief efforts at all 3,800 Walmart and SAM’S CLUB locations. You may also go to any of our web sites, which link directly to the Salvation Army and the Red Cross for donation support.
As a company, we are also focused on making sure our associates are safe and have the necessities they need like food, shelter and clothing. We have activated our Associate Disaster Relief Fund to assist in these efforts. There is also a special hotline that we have set up so our associates can check in with us and tell us what they need. We are also making exceptions to our pay policies for this disaster that will be based on facility and impact.
This is a unique situation which calls for unique solutions. Today more than ever, let’s not let our friends down. Please do what you can to help.