Retailer contributes an additional $750,000 to the American Red Cross, continues to donate merchandise and collect customer contributions
Bentonville, Ark., Oct. 24, 2007 – Responding to escalating needs for assistance with relief efforts for the wildfires in Southern California, the Wal-Mart Foundation today announced that it is increasing its cash donation to the American Red Cross to $1 million. The Red Cross confirms that this is the largest contribution they have received to date to provide aid with disaster relief for the fires.
“Yesterday, we donated $250,000 to assist the Red Cross in providing food and shelter,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation. “As the fires continue to burn, the needs of those impacted continue to increase. Wal-Mart is committed to supporting and assisting our communities, particularly in these times. As the tragedy in California unfolds, we continue to learn more about the impact on our own customers, associates and the communities where they live. Today, we are donating an additional $750,000 to assist those whose lives have been impacted.”
Since Sunday, the Red Cross has been providing food, shelter, counseling and other assistance to thousands of individuals most critically affected by the fires. 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.
“Wal-Mart has been a longstanding partner of the American Red Cross and has consistently been a leader during times of disaster,” said Mark W. Everson, President and CEO of the American Red Cross. “We are extremely grateful for Wal-Mart’s generous donation in response to the California wildfires, which will play a critical role in enabling the Red Cross to provide life-saving support in the affected communities.”
In addition to the cash contributions 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 $400,000 worth of merchandise have made deliveries to help with relief efforts. Wal-Mart has also set 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.
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.
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.