Walmart and the Walmart Foundation Donate $100,000 to Provide Legal Services to Low-Income Arkansans

Funding Helps Legal Aid of Arkansas and the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission Close the Justice Gap

Little Rock, Ark., Nov. 13, 2009 – The Walmart Foundation and the Walmart Legal Department came together today to donate $100,000 to Legal Aid of Arkansas and the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission. The grant will help the organizations provide legal services to low-income Arkansans.

During a check presentation at the Promise of Justice Conference in Little Rock, Kerry Kotouc, Associate General Council for the Walmart Foundation, emphasized Walmart’s commitment to helping all Americans gain access to legal services.

Through the grant, Legal Aid of Arkansas will create a Medical-Legal Partnership to provide clients access to legal services onsite in the clinical health-care setting. In addition, Legal Aid of Arkansas and the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission will use the funds to address key issues raised by low-income clients, including family law, consumer practice, financial, housing and employment matters.

Through their initiatives, both organizations aim to close the justice gap between the legal needs of low-income persons and their ability to access legal guidance.

“The Arkansas Access to Justice Commission is honored by Walmart’s generosity,” said Professor Chuck Goldner, chair of the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission. “Walmart has always given back to the community, and it continues this tradition with this generous gift.”

“Giving back has been a part of Walmart’s culture since our founder, Sam Walton, opened his first store, and we continue this focus by helping the underserved through charitable giving,” said Kerry Kotouc, Associate General Council for the Walmart Foundation. “Our work with Legal Aid of Arkansas and the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission is reflective of this belief and our commitment to giving back in our home state.”

From February 2008 through January 2009, the Walmart Foundation awarded more than $423 million in cash and in-kind gifts, an $85.6 million increase over its global giving in the previous year. Walmart’s FYE 2009 giving breakdown is as follows:

  • In the U.S., Walmart gave more than $378 million in cash and in-kind gifts, up from $296 million in 2007.
  • In international markets, Walmart gave $45.5 million in cash and in-kind gifts, up from $41 million in 2007.
  • Globally, Walmart’s customers and associates gave more than $106 million through in-store giving programs that benefit local charities.
  • In total, Walmart, its Foundations, its customers and its associates supported communities around the globe with nearly $530 million in charitable contributions during FYE 2009.

About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart 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 funds initiatives focused on creating opportunities in education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. From February 1, 2008 through January 31, 2009, Walmart – and its domestic and international foundations – gave more than $423 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.

About The Arkansas Access to Justice Commission
The Arkansas Access to Justice Commission works to provide equal access to justice in civil cases to all Arkansans. The Commission’s major projects include educating the public about poverty in Arkansas, recruiting pro bono attorneys, supporting courts and self-represented individuals and soliciting contributions for legal aid. Contributions to the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission are divided between the state’s two legal aid organizations according to their poverty populations.

About Legal Aid of Arkansas
Legal Aid of Arkansas is a non-profit corporation with a vision to improve the lives of low-income Arkansans by championing equal access to justice regardless of economic or social circumstances. Legal Aid of Arkansas serves 31 counties in Arkansas and provides free legal help with civil legal matters to those who qualify. If you or someone you know needs help with a legal problem, have a question you think a lawyer should answer or have been sued and don’t know where to turn, call the Legal Aid Hotline at 1-800-952-9243.

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