Retailer heeding Governor Schwarzenegger’s call to donate merchandise for evacuees, collecting customer contributions in all California Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club locations
Bentonville, Ark., Oct. 23, 2007 – In response to raging wildfires across Southern California, the American Red Cross has received its first substantial donation to provide support for disaster relief. The Wal-Mart Foundation today announced a cash contribution of $250,000 to enable quick response to those affected by the fires.
Since Sunday, the Red Cross has been providing food, shelter, counseling and other assistance to thousands of individuals most critically affected by the fires. More than 500 Red Cross workers have been assisting these evacuees over the last several days, and the organization is expanding its services rapidly as the needs and changes escalate. Currently, thousands of supplies and volunteers are en route to California as the wildfires continue to spread.
“The Red Cross is a way for neighbors to help each other during times of disaster,” said Mark W. Everson, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. “We welcome Wal-Mart to the family of Red Cross supporters who are reaching out to the people affected by the severe wildfires. Because of their generosity, the Red Cross is able to provide crucial aid such as cots, food, comfort kits and a shoulder to lean on to those in need.”
In addition to the contribution from the company’s Foundation, local Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Clubs in the state of California have responded with donations of water, clothing, blankets and other much-needed merchandise. In total, 20-plus trucks with more than $350,000 worth of merchandise have made deliveries to help with relief efforts. Wal-Mart is also setting up collection sites in each of its 208 California-based stores and Sam’s Clubs where customers can make cash donations to help support ongoing relief efforts.
“Governor Schwarzenegger has shown great leadership to assist the individuals who are affected by this disaster,” said Henry Jordan, Wal-Mart Regional General Manager for the state of California. “Joining with the governor in his call to action, we are mobilizing resources, determining what is needed most and working to provide relief. We applaud local and city officials who are on-the-ground and responding to the needs of their constituents."
Wal-Mart has long been recognized as a corporate leader in the area of disaster relief. The company in 2005 helped the victims of Hurricane Katrina by donating more than $32 million in cash to aid emergency relief efforts, which included $2 million in contributions to the Red Cross. Last year, Wal-Mart provided more than $2 million in disaster relief funds to assist with everything from floods and tornadoes to wildfires and winter storms nationwide. A long-standing partnership between Wal-Mart and the American Red Cross has made many of these efforts possible.
“Wal-Mart has a long history of increasing our community support during times of disaster,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation. “The wildfires raging across Southern California have impacted customers, communities and our own associates. It was an easy decision to move forward with aiding relief efforts.”
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, millions of 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.