BENTONVILLE, Ark., March 27, 2007 – Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. announced today that in 2006 the company gave more than $300 million – or $5.8 million per week – to support its 6,700 world-wide communities. Global donations last year reflected a $30 million increase over 2005. In addition to the philanthropic support provided by the company, Wal-Mart’s customers and associates donated more than $115 million in individual contributions through company-sponsored fundraisers. Overall, Wal-Mart contributed more than $415 million to charitable organizations at the local, national and global levels last year.
“As our company has continued to grow, so have the dollars we’ve given to support our local communities,” said Ray Bracy, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs. “We are glad to be in a position to make a real difference – not just through our own corporate donations, but also by encouraging others to give. The generosity of our customers and associates has shown no end, and neither will our commitment to them.”
Corporate giving at Wal-Mart is governed by a philosophy that was instituted by the company’s founder, the late Sam Walton: operate globally and give back locally. The majority of the company’s giving occurs at the local level as each Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club location is empowered to support the issues and causes that are important to their neighborhoods. This grassroots style of philanthropy encompasses the small things, such as sponsoring a local sports team, and the big things, like funding college scholarships, helping The Salvation Army raise more than $30 million through its Red Kettle campaign, and assisting emergency responders in times of disaster.
America’s Largest Corporate Cash Contributor
Last year Wal-Mart was recognized by the Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest corporate cash contributor in America. In 2006, Wal-Mart gave more than $270 million to support its 4,000-plus U.S.-based communities. Charitable contributions from Wal-Mart support a variety of causes and issues in the areas of education, the environment, health and human services, civic and community groups, and culture and the arts.
Examples of giving at the U.S.-level include:
• The National Teacher of the Year program provided $4.9 million to schools across the country and honored top teachers. Since its inception in 1995, Wal-Mart’s Teacher of the Year program has recognized more than 25,000 teachers nationwide. Overall, Wal-Mart contributed more than $57 million in support of educational initiatives in 2006.
• Children’s Miracle Network, a national organization that aids children’s hospitals across the country, is one of the most significant recipients of Wal-Mart giving. In 2006, it is estimated that the company and its customers provided nearly $34 million in support of CMN, including $6 million from Wal-Mart Canada.
• The Salvation Army has a long-standing relationship with Wal-Mart, and in 2006, Wal-Mart demonstrated its support for the organization’s Red Kettle Campaign by once again allowing the volunteer bell-ringers in front of stores and clubs. Donations collected in Red Kettles at Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s
Club locations reached an all-time high of $30.4 million, accounting for 25 percent of all donations to Red Kettle campaign. In 2006, the company hosted “Bells Ringing Across America,” a nationwide event that featured associates ringing the bells in front of stores and clubs nationwide to encourage donations. Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott launched the event from a store in Bentonville, Ark., where he announced a $1.25 million contribution from the Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club Foundation to the annual campaign.
• The United Way of America and Wal-Mart have had a partnership for nearly 20 years. In 2006, Wal-Mart associates gave nearly $10 million to support the United Way’s programs, which like Wal-Mart giving, are focused on helping people in their own communities. In response, the company provided a dollar-for-dollar match bringing total United Way giving last year to nearly $20 million.
• Wal-Mart donated $5 million to America’s Second Harvest – The Nation’s Food Bank Network and developed a partnership to increase awareness of hunger in America. Through customer donations at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club locations nationwide, an additional $3.7 million was raised to purchase and distribute protein-rich foods to individuals in need through America’s Second Harvest member food banks.
• When disaster strikes, Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Club locations can be counted on to work with disaster relief agencies, supporting their lifesaving work and helping communities to begin the recovery effort. In 2006, Wal-Mart donated nearly $2 million in cash and products to support 75 disaster relief operations in 35 states, including $425,000 to respond to the devastating floods in the Northeast U.S. in June 2006.
• Wal-Mart partnered with Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street, and provided $1.5 million to develop an outreach project aimed at helping children of military personnel deal with the challenges of deployment. The company also gave $500,000 in toys and gifts to military families with loved ones deployed overseas through its “Operation Christmas” initiative in partnership with Operation Homefront.
• Wal-Mart also donated $1 million or more to numerous charitable organizations, including, but not limited to, the American Cancer Society, the American Red Cross, the Boys & Girls Clubs, Mercy Health System of Northwest Arkansas, the MLK Memorial Fund, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the National Urban League, Northwest Arkansas Community College, and the Special Olympics.
Gifts of Time
Volunteering is also a key component of Wal-Mart’s corporate giving philosophy. Associates are strongly encouraged to become involved in organizations that make a positive difference in the local quality of life, and Wal-Mart gives grants to qualifying organizations in recognition of associate volunteer hours. Last year, associates donated more than 1 million volunteer hours resulting in $5 million in grants to the organizations supported through volunteer efforts.
Charitable organizations interested in receiving support from the Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club Foundation are advised to visit their local Wal-Mart store, Neighborhood Market or Sam’s Club location.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, more than 127 million customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) 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 local communities in the United States. To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmartstores.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.