BENTONVILLE, Ark, Feb. 21, 2006 – As a result of an enhanced partnership between Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and The Salvation Army, the nation’s largest retailer today announced it raised more than $26 million for The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign through in-store donations. Additionally, more than $17,000 was raised through online donations. The funds collected through the generous contributions of associates and customers represent a more than $9 million growth from 2004 and account for nearly 25% of the $107 million raised on behalf of The Salvation Army during the 2005 holiday season.
In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Wal-Mart broadened its ongoing partnership with The Salvation Army by offering an open invitation to double the duration of its annual holiday fundraising efforts at all 3,800 Wal-Mart and SAM’S CLUB locations nationwide. The Salvation Army was permitted to collect donations for the 2005 Red Kettle drive from Friday, November 18 through Christmas Eve. Additionally, Wal-Mart was the first organization to host its own online Red Kettle for the organization with more than 126 years of experience in helping the needy in the United States. The company also matched the first $1 million raised in the red kettles in front of its locations and online.
“Wal-Mart’s commitment to give back to the communities we serve is shared by our associates and customers,” said Betsy Reithemeyer, vice president of corporate affairs and executive director of the Wal-Mart and SAM’S CLUB Foundation. “We are proud that the generous contributions of our associates and customers touched the lives of families who may have otherwise gone without the joys of the holiday season. I would like to thank all of those who contributed to this year’s Red Kettle campaign. They deserve sincere congratulations on making our neighbors’ holiday a little brighter.”
The Red Kettle campaign, which is critical to the organization’s annual fund raising efforts, was especially meaningful this year because of the unprecedented and diverse need of Americans following last year’s hurricanes. Unlike designated disaster funds that go straight to the disaster site, Red Kettle funds are used in the community where they are given to benefit local individuals and families dealing with their own personal disasters, such as unanticipated heating costs, the loss of a job or drug and alcohol abuse. This year, the funds raised in many local communities will also help survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita who relocated to more than thirty states across America.
“Every Salvation Army unit across the country is deeply grateful for Wal-Mart and its associates and customers for their generous support this Christmas season,” said Major George Hood, national community relations and development secretary at The Salvation Army National Headquarters. “We are proud of our long-standing relationship with Wal-Mart and the results of this campaign, which helped to impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of needy individuals across this great country. These are the people who really benefited at the local level and who are the most grateful for the company’s efforts.”
This year, the strength of Wal-Mart’s Red Kettle campaign efforts were located in The Salvation Army’s Southern Territory divisions, which includes all stores in Wal-Mart’s Southeast division, as well as stores from neighboring states in the Western, Mountains, Northeast and Midwest Divisions. These Wal-Mart stores were the hardest hit during last year’s hurricane season, but were also in the areas that donated the most money, totaling more than $12 million. Through this year’s enhanced partnership, Wal-Mart and The Salvation Army provided opportunities for shoppers to share the spirit of the holidays with those in need.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM’S CLUB locations in the United States. The company also operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The company’s securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmartfacts.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination since 1865. Nearly 33 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 83 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in nearly 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to http://www.salvationarmyusa.org.
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