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Wal-Mart Celebrates Bond Between Generations

September 09, 2004
Grandparents Day Offering Includes Financial Grants; Free Booklet of Real-Life Stories.
Contact: Dan Fogleman
(479) 273-4314

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Sept. 9, 2004 -- For many Americans, memories of their grandparents are among their fondest memories. This weekend, Wal-Mart associates around the country will be celebrating those memories through community involvement with local senior citizens and sharing of personal stories from their own lives.

To encourage young people to reach out and learn from older generations, Wal-Mart and its associates are lending a helping hand. Each store will award a $500 grant to a local youth organization which will be used to fund an activity that will also benefit senior citizens in the community. Some examples might be delivering fruit baskets to shut-ins, hosting a game day at a senior center, providing lunch for grandparents at a local food kitchen, conducting oral history projects with local centenarians and visiting nursing home residents who don’t have family in the local area. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Please contact your local store for details about projects planned in your community.)

"There is so much that can be shared between the generations, which cultivates a great learning experience. We hope these young people will benefit by better understanding the experiences and perspectives our senior citizens have to offer," said Betsy Reithemeyer, vice president of corporate affairs for Wal-Mart. "Hopefully, it will also be something the older folks enjoy as well. We at Wal-Mart are pleased to play a role in honoring America’s seniors as part of our Grandparents Day celebrations."

To help commemorate Grandparents Day at Wal-Mart, associates were asked to share stories about the special bond they shared with their own grandmas and grandpas or as a grandparent themselves. Evelyn Espinola is now helping to raise her granddaughter, who was born prematurely. She describes her as a miracle and a blessing "we are attached to each other like glue...we are special together and always will be," she said.

Evelyn’s story is unique, yet reveals the common threads of generosity and grace, unspeakable gratitude and untold joy. It is one of 24 such associate stories selected for publication in Celebrating Grandparents Day, an exclusive booklet to be distributed by greeters in Wal-Mart stores nationwide beginning September 12, free of charge and while supplies last. These stories describe the family bonds that are not so much defined by relations, but rather by the heart and the love shared between generations.

Wal-Mart is one of the leading employers of senior citizens in the United States, employing nearly a quarter million associates just under 20% of Wal-Mart’s workforce Ð who are at least 55 years old.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM’S CLUBS in the United States. Internationally, the company operates in Puerto Rico, Canada, China, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, United Kingdom, Argentina and South Korea. The company’s 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. Customers and associates raised an additional $70 million at stores and clubs