BENTONVILLE, Ark., December 7, 2007 – Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., in partnership with The Salvation Army, has made its Christmas Carol Concert available for online viewing at www.walmartchristmascarolconcert.com. The concert, which was broadcast live this morning in all Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Club locations via the retailer’s in-store TV network, features a Christmas message from Pastor Rick Warren, author of “The Purpose Driven Life,” and music by The Salvation Army’s New York Staff Brass Band and the Wal-Mart associate choir.
Pastor Warren’s message, which was specially recorded for Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club shoppers, is at the heart of the Christmas Carol Concert and is airing on Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club TV at 9:30 a.m. in all time zones. Wal-Mart and The Salvation Army approached Warren after the pastor gave a speech about the importance of giving back during The Salvation Army’s NAOC Conference in April 2007. As part of the event, The Salvation Army recognized both Pastor Warren and Wal-Mart with the organization’s coveted Evangeline Booth Award for excellence in spiritual leadership and corporate philanthropy respectively.
“The Christmas Carol Concert is a way for us to celebrate the joy, goodwill and selflessness of the holiday season with our shoppers – and to showcase our continued support for the work of our friends at The Salvation Army” said Lee Scott, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
“The holiday season is a time of reflection and togetherness, and a time for all of us to gather with loved ones and count our blessings,” said Pastor Warren. “I hope the Christmas Carol Concert, and my special Christmas message, will make this season extra meaningful for all who watch it.”
In addition to the concert, Wal-Mart is continuing its long standing support of The Salvation Army with a variety of other holiday initiatives including:
• Bells Ringing Across America – For the second year, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club associates participated in the retailer’s “Bells Ringing Across America” event. On Nov. 27, associates at Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Clubs nationwide rang bells outside of their respective locations. Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott and The Salvation Army’s National Commander Israel Gaither participated in the event outside the Wal-Mart store in Battle Creek, Mich. During this event, Scott presented The Salvation Army with a $1 million check on behalf of the Wal-Mart Foundation. Additionally, Rayovac Batteries launched its “Keep it Ringing” cross-country bell-ringing program benefiting The Salvation Army, and also presented $250,000 to the organization.
• Sam’s Club Dream Drive – In partnership with the Off the Field Players Wives Association, Sam’s Club provided $50,000 worth of merchandise and food for Salvation Army families enrolled in the charity’s Adopt a Family Program. Professional and legendary football players’ wives shopped for the families at participating Sam’s Club locations on Dec. 6 in Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Denver and San Diego.
• Salvation Army Brass Band Concerts – The Salvation Army’s local Brass Bands will perform special concerts at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club locations across the country throughout the holiday season.
The Salvation Army’s red kettles will be outside Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club locations from Nov. 23 through Christmas Eve, and customers can also make contributions to The Salvation Army through Wal-Mart’s online kettle, which can be accessed at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com. Last year, The Salvation Army collected more than $30 million from customers in front of stores and clubs – accounting for 25 percent of total funds contributed to the organization and helping to assist more than 35 million people in need.
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 or www.walmartstores.com.