Bentonville, Ark., May 24, 2007 – In recognition of National Missing Children’s Day (May 25) and as part of its commitment to help reunite missing children with their families and loved ones, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. today announced it is donating $500,000 to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC). The funds will help NCMEC redesign its Web site ( www.missingkids.com), an important tool in the search for missing children and efforts to stop child abduction and sexual exploitation. With 675,000 unique visitors each month, the site is crucial to their mission.
“The advent of technology has revolutionized the way we assist law enforcement in missing and exploited child cases. Our web site allows us to engage citizens around the world in these efforts,” said Ernie Allen, president and chief executive officer of NCMEC. “We are grateful to Wal-Mart for their continued generosity and their leadership in using their resources to implement real life solutions to help us achieve our goals.”
Currently NCMEC’s web site includes photos of missing children, prevention materials, resources for victims, their families, and the professionals that serve them.
From running in-store poster campaigns to outfitting trucking fleets with technology that enables drivers to receive missing alerts about children, Wal-Mart has developed the following initiatives to help locate missing children.
• Missing Children’s Network: In partnership with NCMEC, more than 4,000 Wal-Mart Stores, Neighborhood Markets, Distribution Centers and Sam’s Club locations post pictures of missing children in storefronts, alerting shoppers and associates to be on the lookout for missing children. Wal-Mart has helped to recover more than 164 children since 1996.
• Code Adam: Rolled out in 1994 at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club locations, Code Adam has become one of the nation’s largest child safety programs. The system alerts associates that a child has been reported missing in the store; associates immediately stop their normal work to search for the child and monitor exits to help prevent the child from leaving. The system has been shared with other companies and today there are Code Adam partners in more than 70,000 locations across the country.
• Roadwatch and AMBER Alert Highway Network: With more than 8,000 drivers, 7,000 tractors and 45,000 trailers, Wal-Mart enlists the help of its drivers to stay alert for missing children on the nation’s highways. Through its proprietary Roadwatch program, using QUALCOMM technology, truck drivers receive alerts about missing children. Wal-Mart is also a member of the AMBER Alert Highway Network.
“Considering that there is a Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club in just about every community in the United States, we are in a unique position to help search for and reunite missing children with their loved ones, and we are happy to contribute in this important process to keep our children safe,” said Ray Bracy, senior vice president of Wal-Mart Corporate Affairs. “We encourage everyone to visit www.missingkids.com and the poster boards at the front of our stores.”
Since 1994, Wal-Mart has contributed more than $2 million and numerous in-kind donations to NCMEC, including a $500,000 donation in honor of National Missing Children’s Day 2006.
About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
NCMEC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. NCMEC’s congressionally mandated CyberTipline, a reporting mechanism for child sexual exploitation, has handled more than 475,000 leads. Since its establishment in 1984, NCMEC has assisted law enforcement with more than 130,300 missing child cases, resulting in the recovery of more than 112,900 children. For more information about NCMEC, call its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST or visit its web site at www.missingkids.com.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam’s Club locations in the United States. The Company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. The Company’s securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT.
More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com.