August 16, 2004
Stores act as collection points, temporary housing in storm aftermath.
BENTONVILLE, Ark., Aug. 16, 2004 --- Wal-Mart associates across the state of Florida and neighboring states are pitching in to ease the pain of Hurricane Charleys aftermath. Stores in the affected area are donating relief supplies. At first count, Wal-Mart has already shipped over 300 truckloads of bottled water and 100 truckloads of general merchandise into the impacted areas. Donated items include generators, propane, batteries, flashlights, lamps, lamp oil and ice. Wal-Mart and SAMS CLUBS have already donated in excess of $250,000 in merchandise.
Stores have established collection points for monetary donations to relief organizations. Representatives from the Wal-Mart/SAMS CLUB Foundation continue to work with local relief organizations and city and state agencies to evaluate needs within the communities.
In Wauchula, the local Wal-Mart store was one of only a very few places in town open for business, as of this morning. The store is donating water and supplies to its customers and neighbors in the community. A small number of other Wal-Mart and SAMS CLUB locations are also operating on generator power to ensure they can meet the needs of their respective communities.
Wal-Mart has donated the use of a vacant store in Haines City to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) so the Red Cross can use it as a transitional housing center for victims who lost their homes in the storm. A second vacated store in Lakeland is being used as a staging area for relief workers, supplies and equipment. The National Guard is using his site to distribute relief supplies into the impacted areas. These stores had been previously vacated to accommodate store growth through the establishment of new supercenters in the area. (EDITORS NOTE: We have since learned FEMA opted not to use the Haines City store after taking possession of it for the purposes described above.)
Stores as far away as Atlanta have announced plans for things such as blood drives to assist the victims of the deadly storm.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAMS CLUBS in the United States, including 108 Wal-Mart supercenters, 55 general merchandise stores, 4 Neighborhood Markets, 38 SAMS CLUBS and 4 distribution centers in the state of Florida. The company employs over 87,000 associates in the state.
Internationally, the company operates in Puerto Rico, Canada, China, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, United Kingdom, Argentina and South Korea. The companys securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT.
Last year, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., contributed more than $150 million to support communities and local non-profit organizations, including over $14.6 million in Florida. Customers and associates raised an additional $70 million at stores and clubs.