BENTONVILLE, Ark., November 17, 2006 – Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. tomorrow will announce a three-year commitment to donate a total of $750,000 to the Jason Foundation, Inc. (JFI) in a shared effort to support the organization’s mission of providing information, tools and resources for youth suicide prevention. Wal-Mart Global Procurement President and CEO Lawrence Jackson will present a check for $750,000, the largest grant to the Foundation by a private corporation, to JFI President and CEO Clark Flatt at the November 18 University of Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt University football game in Nashville.
JFI is a nationally-recognized organization that builds awareness about the prevention of youth suicide and provides educational curriculums and training programs for students, educators/youth workers and parents. Youth suicide has been declared one of the nation’s leading causes of preventable death, yet it is the third leading cause of death for people ages 15-24 and the second leading cause of death for college-age young adults. Flatt founded the JFI, based in Tennessee, in October 1997 after the tragic death of his 16-year-old son, Jason Flatt.
“With the addition of Wal-Mart as our National Corporate Affiliate, the national health problem of youth suicide has been brought to the public’s attention at a grass-roots level,” said Flatt. “The bottom line is that this donation will help to save the lives of young people in the communities.”
As part of the announcement, Vanderbilt University Coach Bobby Johnson, a JFI/American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) ambassador, and University of Tennessee Head Football Coach Phillip Fulmer, JFI’s national spokesperson since May 1998, took part in the presentation. JFI has a National Awareness Affiliation with the AFCA. Through this affiliation, more than 100 college coaches across the nation work with JFI as ambassadors to help bring awareness to the national health problem of youth suicide and provide prevention materials.
“I feel very fortunate to participate in this announcement with Coach Fulmer,” said Johnson. “For Wal-Mart to step forward with a three-year financial commitment like this will truly help the Jason Foundation grow its important mission of bringing more educational awareness and attention to this critical issue.”
“I am excited about the partnership between Wal-Mart and the Jason Foundation. This money is going to enable the many programs that the Jason Foundation offers to prevent teen suicide to continue,” said Fulmer. “I am proud to be a part of an organization that impacts so many lives. The Jason Foundation has given many of us who work with youth from many different backgrounds a real source of support and guidance when needed.”
Wal-Mart is committed to responding to the specific needs of its associates, customers and communities. The partnership with the Jason Foundation is an extension of this commitment. Wal-Mart will donate $250,000 annually for three years to the Foundation in support of its current programs and its efforts to bring awareness of the Foundation and prevention of youth suicide to the community.
“Each year in our nation, we lose more young people to suicide. We joined forces with the Jason Foundation to help our youth in need within our neighborhoods,” said Jackson. “The goal of this effort is to help make a difference in the lives of those dealing with problems too big to handle themselves. At Wal-Mart, we strive to make a difference in the communities we serve.”
About the Jason Foundation, Inc.
Today, the Jason Foundation, Inc. (JFI) is a recognized national leader in the awareness and prevention of youth suicide. JFI is a member of the National Council of Suicide Prevention. JFI also helped provide input on The National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and was involved in helping with the recent passage of the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act through the efforts of Congressman Bart Gordon. The Jason Foundation, Inc. has received previous support from various national organizations and individuals. Attorneys General throughout the country, including former Tennessee Attorney General Paul Summers, have become involved in the group and its mission. In addition, 49 university head football coaches and two National Football League coaches support the Foundation. To learn more, visit www.jasonfoundation.com.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, more than 176 million customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, Sam’s Clubs or a subsidiary location in 15 countries around the world. In each of the countries where Wal-Mart operates, the company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of operating globally and giving back locally. Wal-Mart is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to these local communities. To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmartstores.com or www.walmartfoundation.org.