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08/05

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Healthy Living Programs Get Boost from Sam’s Club Members and Associates

BENTONVILLE, Ark., (Aug. 5, 2011) – Voters in the Sam’s Club 2011 Giving Made Simple campaign are improving the health and well-being of communities by directing funds to organizations such as the Y, which received the most votes. The Y will use its donation to fight chronic disease and to help more people achieve and maintain healthy lifestyles.

The Y is one of four health-focused nonprofits who are benefiting from a Sam’s Club total donation of $1.2 million. The Sam’s Club Giving Program is committed to supporting families and small business owners in their efforts to prevent chronic disease and seeks innovative sustainable programs that are both engaging and make health and wellness a priority.

Each of the nonprofits participating in Giving Made Simple delivers programs that promote nutrition, active lifestyles and health education for all ages.

“Chronic disease including diabetes, heart disease and obesity, are some of the most costly and deadly, but fortunately, they are also among the most preventable, “said Jill Turner-Mitchael, senior vice president, Sam’s Club Health and Wellness. “We chose to focus Giving Made Simple on health and wellness and the prevention of chronic disease this time because we believe we can be part of the solution with these nonprofits working to create awareness and effect change.”

The Giving Made Simple campaign allowed Sam’s Club members and associates to direct a portion of the company’s donations to each nonprofit. Members and associates voted in clubs one weekend and online every day through Aug. 1 to help determine the amount each group received. In addition, special Twitter voting days opened the campaign to the public.

The organizations and the donations they will receive are:

  • The Y$328,335. The Y will mobilize communities to ensure that healthy food options, safe places for physical activity, and effective chronic disease prevention programs are accessible to all.
  • Sesame Street$300,290. Sesame Street will help establish healthy habits, including oral preventive care practices, in parents and at-risk children.
  • Alliance for a Healthier Generation$287,890. The Alliance will use the funds to help schools across the country become healthier places where physical activity and healthy eating options are available before, during and after school.
  • OASIS$284,730. OASIS will engage people nationwide who are age 50+ in programs, classes and training that promote active lifestyles to keep them healthy and well.

The four nonprofits encouraged their supporters to vote in a variety of creative ways. For example, local Alliance staff across the country spread the word about Twitter voting online, while the Y in Arkansas handed out flyers to parents and members daily. OASIS set up booths at their centers across the country to show people how to vote through Twitter, as well as posting a step-by-step voting guide on their website. Sesame Street brought a walk around Elmo character and an oral health activity sheet for families to participate and celebrate in-club voting at the Secaucus Sam’s Club.

“We are pleased that each organization received a substantial grant to apply toward their program and we want to recognize them for participating,” said Turner-Mitchael. “We look forward to learning about the success of these programs in the coming months and also want to thank our members and associates for the role they played in supporting these causes.”

Healthy Lifestyles

All of the nonprofit organizations participating in Giving Made Simple support community efforts for health and wellness and offer advice for living a healthy and active lifestyle. A few simple tips on healthy living include:

  • Make the Switch. When packing a school lunch, swap the white bread for whole wheat varieties for added boosts of fiber. Also switch from fatty meats to low-fat alternatives such as lean turkey or chicken breast.
  • Play It Down. Using screen time to reward or punish a child makes it seem more important than it is. Use praise, encouragement and recognition for physical activity and make screen time a nonevent in your home.
  • Take Tooth Time Together. Preschoolers are still developing the muscles and skills they need to brush on their own. They need help from adults to get teeth nice and clean. Help children brush their teeth, and then ask them to take the lead and imitate your actions. Also remind them to rinse and spit out the toothpaste. 
  • Go on a Walk. Walking for 30 minutes a day increases your bone density. Physical activity increases your chances of living a longer healthier life and it is never too late to become active.
  • Coordinate a Walking School Bus. Give the kids in the community an alternative to taking the bus to school if they are close enough to walk.  Coordinate a “walking school bus” where parents pick up children and facilitate safe travel to school and afterschool programs.

About Sam’s Club

Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), is the nation’s eighth largest retailer and a leading membership warehouse club offering superior products and services to more than 47 million members in clubs across the U.S., as well as in Brazil, China and Mexico. Members save an average of 30 percent over traditional retailers. To learn more about Savings Made SimpleSM, visit SamsClub.com, and look for Sam’s Club on Twitter and Facebook.

Sam’s Club Giving

Sam’s Club supports community-based programs that empower young people, families and small businesses to make smart choices that lead to healthy and bright futures. Through cash and in-kind donations, as well as the dedication of associates, Sam’s Club is committed to making an impact in areas that align with the company, and with the passions and interests of members. In 2010, the Sam’s Club Giving Program made cash and in-kind contributions of more than $89 million, which included donating more than 65 million meals.