BAY PINES, Fla., Dec. 4, 2007 - It is not a traditional sleigh and they are not your typical elves, but today Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club associates facilitated a special delivery to the families of servicemen and women residing at the Bay Pines VA Medical Center Fisher House as part of the company’s “Operation: Deck the Walls” program. Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club are partnering with the Fisher House Foundation this holiday season to support America’s troops by bringing the joy of Christmas to military families at each of the 36 Fisher House locations across the nation. Both Wal-Mart and the Fisher House Foundation are proud members of America Supports You, a nationwide program launched by the Department of Defense to recognize citizens’ support for our military men and women and communicate that support to members of our Armed Forces at home and abroad.
At a ceremony today, Fisher House Manager Richard Kippings received a $5,000 Wal-Mart gift card for a shopping spree to benefit the facility. Wal-Mart will host the house manager and their guests at the Pinellas Park Wal-Mart Supercenter tomorrow, Dec. 5, for a shopping excursion. The shopping spree will include a chauffeured ride to and from the store and a personal shopper.
“For years we have been a proud partner of America Supports You,” said Pat Curran, executive vice president of the People Division for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “Now, through our partnership with the Fisher House Foundation, we have yet another great opportunity to show our gratitude for the service and courage our servicemen and servicewomen embody everyday.
Wal-Mart is contributing $350,000 to the Fisher Houses through the “Operation: Deck the Walls” program. In addition to the gift cards presented to each Fisher House manager, a $100,000 contribution was made to the Fisher House Foundation to support the construction of a house that is slated to be built at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.
“Wal-Mart is a true champion of our military,” said Ken Fisher, chairman, Fisher House Foundation. “We are grateful that they join us in recognizing the need to support our military during their time of need. The holiday decorations, gifts and shopping spree will be a big boost to morale for our house managers and guests this Christmas season.”
Wal-Mart’s Ongoing Commitment to Supporting Military Families
Wal-Mart has a long history of supporting America’s troops and veterans. Recent military support includes:
• Sponsoring the Nov. 11 Veterans’ Day concert by the Washington Chorus in which the retailer provided a $25,000 challenge grant to the Fisher House Foundation as a match for attendee gift card donations
• An ongoing partnership with Kodak and the Veterans of Foreign Wars in conjunction with Veteran’s Day that allows customers at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Clubs across the nation to post photographs of local soldiers on a “Wall of Honor” and write messages of support to those serving overseas through in-store message books
• Recycling its “retired” blue vests into lap blankets for wounded veterans, and cards and stationery for troops serving overseas
• A $1.5 million donation to Sesame Workshop to develop outreach kits to help children of the U.S. Armed Services, National Guard and Reserves deal with the stresses of military life
• Providing more than $1.6 million just last year to support local veterans’ organizations
• Partnering with America Supports You
For more information about Wal-Mart and its strong support of military efforts, click here.
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.
About the Fisher House Foundation
Fisher House Foundation is best known for the network of 38 comfort homes on the grounds of military and VA major medical centers. The houses are 5,000 to 16,000 square foot homes, with up to 21 suites, donated to the military and Department of Veterans Affairs by Fisher House Foundation. The Foundation provides support to families of patients receiving care at the nearby medical center and has ensured that families of service men and women wounded or injured in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom do not pay for their stay at a Fisher House or other base facility if they are on a wait list. For more information on the work of Fisher House Foundation, go to www.fisherhouse.org, or call 1-888-294-8560.
America Supports You is a Department of Defense program that connects citizens and corporations with military personnel and their families serving at home and abroad. Since its launch in November 2004, the program has welcomed more than 300 home front groups and over 35 corporate supporters. Many organizations support the troops by writing letters, sending care packages, assisting military families, and helping the wounded when they return home, among many other acts of kindness. To learn more visit www.AmericaSupportsYou.mil.