Press releases



Community Giving Marks 20th Anniversary of Wal-Mart/SAM's Club Foundation

BENTONVILLE, Ark., - As Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. announces record earnings for the fiscal year ending January 31, the company’s charitable arm ends its 20th anniversary year with a record $163 million raised and contributed by Wal-Mart associates and customers. The company is returning more than $3 million a week at the company’s 3,000 locations across the United States. "When a Wal-Mart store or SAM’S Club enters a community, we bring even more than value, product assortment, quality jobs and tax revenue," said H. Lee Scott, president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. "We bring a commitment to grass roots support and fundraising which benefits community organizations where they need it most, at the local level." The Wal-Mart / SAM’S Club Foundation began in 1979 focused on education by contributing $200,000 to local communities through scholarships. Since then, the Foundation has seen tremendous growth, increasing its giving by more than 20 percent over each of the past six years. With a continued focus on the communities where its stores and clubs operate, 97 percent of the company’s contributions are directed by associates at the store level, and all of its programs encourage associates to get involved with fundraising efforts. "In our experience, supporting issues and causes that are important to our customers and associates, in their own neighborhoods, has the greatest benefit," Scott said. "Our associates know which organizations are the most important in their hometowns, and we empower them to determine how Wal-Mart / SAM’S Club Foundation dollars will be spent." "Had it not been for the contribution that Wal-Mart gave, we would not have been able to help 150 children this past Christmas," said Mary Ann King of the Mount Airy, N.C., Caring Hands. "The money was used to purchase much needed clothing for the children. Our local Wal-Mart has always been active in the community and we appreciate the generosity of the associates."

The largest program funded and administered by the Foundation is the Community Matching Grant Program, which involves associates partnering with local charities to host fund-raising events for which the Foundation matches up to $2,000. This program generated $64 million for 40,000 organizations in 1999. Other programs support children’s health and welfare, education, environment and civic youth programs. The Wal-Mart / SAM’S Club Foundation ranks among the top five corporate foundations by giving, according to the Foundation Center. The Foundation also supports several national charities that have significant impact in local communities, such as Children’s Miracle Network, United Way, United Negro College Fund, Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, National Council Of LaRaza, Hispanic Scholarship Fund and Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. empowers its associates to serve the needs of their communities through its "Good Works" initiative. Last year, associates of the company’s more than 3,000 Wal-Mart stores, SAM’S Clubs and distribution centers raised and donated more than $163 million to charitable organizations nationwide. In addition, Wal-Mart and SAM’S Club employ a number of programs that encourage children’s health and safety, education and community-minded awareness. For more information about Wal-Mart’s Good Works efforts, visit

Wal-Mart / SAM’S Club Foundation-20 Years of Giving

  • In 1999, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. raised and contributed more than $163 million for local charities nationwide, returning more than $3 million weekly to local communities.
  • Wal-Mart is a leading supporter of children’s health in the United States. The company raised and contributed $29 million to local children’s hospitals in 1999 through the Children’s Miracle Network, and has contributed $160 million to local children’s hospitals since 1987.
  • Wal-Mart provided more than $64 million in matching grants during 1999 to 40,000 local non-profit organizations that held fundraisers at Wal-Mart stores and SAM’S Clubs.
  • Wal-Mart and its associates have contributed $114 million to the United Way since 1983.
  • Wal-Mart allocates more than $3 million annually to industrial funding to enhance community growth and development through job creation and industrial recruiting.
  • Wal-Mart’s support of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has helped the organization recover hundreds of missing children. As a direct result of the Missing Children’s Boards located inside each Wal-Mart and SAM’S Club, 37 children have been returned to their homes.
  • Wal-Mart is one of the leading supporters of education in the United States. Last year, Wal-Mart invested $8.4 million in individual college scholarship programs, providing funds for its own associates, local communities and minority students.