Home News Walmart Foundation Donates $5 Million To Help Red Cross Chapters Prepare For Disasters

Walmart Foundation Donates $5 Million To Help Red Cross Chapters Prepare For Disasters

Generous donation will allow 128 communities across the country to better prepare for disasters large and small

WASHINGTON, April 1, 2009 – The Walmart Foundation has awarded $5 million to the American Red Cross to strengthen disaster preparedness in 128 communities in 44 states and three U.S. territories. 

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The funds will expand the reach of the Red Cross in places that are often isolated during times of disaster. The donation will be used to purchase more than 55,000 blankets and 15,000 cots, provide chapters with nearly 150 shelter trailers and train more than 1,000 Red Cross staff and volunteers.

The goal of the disaster readiness effort funded by this donation is to ensure that smaller, rural communities can respond to the needs of its residents in the first few days of a disaster. The funds from the Walmart Foundation grant are being allocated to Red Cross chapters in amounts ranging from $10,000 to $140,000.

“Thanks to the generosity of the Walmart Foundation, we will increase our capacity to serve people in the rural Alabama counties and to be there to respond after a disaster, whether it is a house fire or a hurricane,” says Leisle Mims, Chapter Executive Director at the Alabama Gulf Coast Chapter. The Alabama Gulf Coast Regional Counties are receiving a $76,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to strengthen disaster response capabilities in what is a highly disaster prone region.

The grants to Red Cross chapters will help the Red Cross acquire and maintain material and human resources necessary to manage relief operations, and will also be used to improve community relationships necessary to manage relief operations. Being prepared with trained people and adequate supplies on hand prior to a disaster event can help save lives, time and money.

“At Walmart, helping communities is what we do every day, and when a crisis strikes, that charge becomes an even greater priority,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. “Our long-standing support of the American Red Cross is evidence of our commitment to supporting local disaster relief efforts. We are hopeful that the $5 million we have given to local Red Cross chapters across the country will result in the swift, effective response to disasters, and the development of resources before disaster strikes.”

Walmart is one of American Red Cross’s most committed corporate partners with donations from its foundation, stores and clubs exceeding $10 million over the past two years.

“The American Red Cross is grateful for the Walmart Foundation’s commitment to making sure our communities are prepared when disaster strikes.” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. “These investments will help save lives and help ensure that we can meet the demands of responding to disasters even in today’s challenging economic climate.”

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation's blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at www.redcrosschat.org.

About Philanthropy at Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the Walmart Foundation supports initiatives focused on creating opportunities in education, workforce development, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. In 2007, Walmart, Sam’s Club and the Walmart Foundation gave $296 million to communities across the United States. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org