Wal-Mart and Salvation Army Ring in the Season of Giving Early at Stores, Clubs and Online
Largest Retailer Expands “Red Kettle” Campaign and Helps Launch National “Online Kettle” to Enhance Giving Opportunities In a Time of Need
BENTONVILLE, Ark, Nov. 17, 2005 – The traditional sounds of The Salvation Army bells will begin earlier this year, as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. enhances its long-term partnership with The Salvation Army by being the first organization to host their own “online red kettle” for an organization with more than 126 years of experience helping the needy. Wal-Mart has extended The Salvation Army’s 2005 “Red Kettle” fundraising efforts in front of all 3,800 Wal-Mart and SAM’S CLUB locations nationwide, doubling the number of days they will collect donations this holiday season. This year’s campaign will kick-off on Friday, November 18 and will continue through Christmas Eve. The online kettle campaign is scheduled to begin Nov. 18, and will be available on Wal-Mart and SAM’S CLUB Web sites.
“Our Red Kettle campaign is critical to our annual fund raising, and because of the many challenges we face this year, we are thrilled to be out much earlier in front of Wal-Mart and SAM’S CLUB locations and that they also offer online shoppers a new way to give,” said Major George Hood, national community relations and development director at The Salvation Army.
Last year, the company raised $17 million for The Salvation Army through customer donations in front of Wal-Mart locations nationwide. These funds were part of the $102 million The Salvation Army raised through the red kettles, which helped them provide assistance for more than 34 million people in need throughout the United States. Including the expanded days and online kettle, Wal-Mart also has committed to matching the first $1 million raised in the red kettles in front of its locations and online.
With millions of shoppers expected to shop online this season, the new “online Red Kettle” also will appear on each company Web site, including www.walmart.com, www.samsclub.com, www.walmartstores.com, www.walmartfacts.com and www.walmartfoundation.org. Individuals wishing to make a contribution online can click on the kettle, which will take them to a special, secured page to make a donation. All online gifts to The Salvation Army are tax-deductible, and individuals will automatically receive an e-gift acknowledgement once a donation has been processed.
“We and The Salvation Army both focus our efforts on directly helping those in need in our local communities,” said Betsy Reithemeyer, vice president of corporate affairs and executive director of the Wal-Mart & SAM’S CLUB Foundation. “We decided early this fall that increasing the opportunities for kettle donations at our stores and online, will certainly help reach more people in need this year. We are proud that the generous contributions of our associates and customers will have a meaningful impact on the lives of individuals who may otherwise go without this holiday season.”
Although Hurricanes Katrina and Rita created unprecedented needs for families and individuals in the Gulf Coast Region, the donations raised through the campaign will be used to benefit individuals in need throughout the nation.
To directly help those along the Gulf Coast, 10 Wal-Mart stores are working with the local Salvation Army, community leaders and businesses in this region to establish a Bike Tour with the goal of providing bikes to Gulf Coast kids over the holidays. The fundraiser will begin in December, and will include Wal-Mart store managers riding through Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana in an effort to raise funds to purchase the largest number of bikes ever provided for a cause.
In addition, customers will find additional ways to contribute at Wal-Mart and SAM’S CLUB locations, which support The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program and other causes. Through this year’s new programs and enhanced partnership, The Salvation Army will be present in many more places for shoppers to catch the holiday spirit and give to others.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM’S CLUB locations in the United States. The company also operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The company’s securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmartfacts.com.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination since 1865. Nearly 33 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 83 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in nearly 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to http://www.salvationarmyusa.org.
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