Live Better: Shannon Williams
The Cobblestone Project is a community farm powered by volunteers. Shannon is one of them. This is her story.
Walmart donates to nonprofit organizations when our associates volunteer. With more than 1 million hours volunteered last year, associates helped raise over $13 million.
Walmart associates give back
We believe in a philosophy of operating globally and giving back locally. And Walmart and Sam's Club associates are active members of their local communities – getting involved with the charitable organizations that matter most to them and their families.
Through the Volunteerism Always Pays (VAP) program, the Walmart Foundation awards grants to eligible organizations where associates volunteer. In 2012, Walmart associates volunteered more than 2.2 million hours and generated more than $18 million in local grants through the VAP program.
Making a difference locally
Our giving starts in the local community, with every Walmart facility and Sam's Club providing grants to nonprofits that are making a difference in their hometown. This is often in addition to generating Walmart Foundation grants through VAP.
The impact of these programs comes to life in communities like Jacksonville and Brooksville, Florida. By giving their time and talent alongside Walmart Foundation grants, these associates clearly demonstrate that taking care of their local community is a top priority. One Sam's Club, in particular, has gone above and beyond to make a positive impact.
Sam’s Club 8253 – Jacksonville, Florida
In 2011, Sam's Club 8253 in Jacksonville awarded 12 community grants totaling $8,500 to local organizations. Through the VAP program, the club's associates contributed more than 3,500 volunteer hours. That effort resulted in more than $26,000 to local organizations that are helping their families, neighbors and customers in the Jacksonville area live better.
This club also exceeded their six-week Children's Miracle Network Hospitals fundraising goal of $6,000 by 431% -- raising more than $25,000 for their local children's hospital. For its exemplary service to the community, Sam's Club 8253 was recognized by Walmart and the Walmart Foundation as the winner of the 2011 Helen R. Walton Excellence in Community Leadership Award.
Brooksville, Florida – Logistics Associate Volunteers
Associates at the Walmart Distribution Center and Transportation Office in Brooksville, Florida, exemplify our approach to giving back as well. In 2011, 323 associates at these two facilities alone volunteered a combined 23,000 hours, both individually and as part of community-based events. Their volunteerism touched 126 local organizations and resulted in more than $150,000 in grants to Brooksville area nonprofits.
Over the course of several months, these associates traveled to the Support Our Troops headquarters to organize donations, unload trailers, pack and deliver boxes and more. A large group of associates gathered five times during 2011 to participate in river cleanup efforts at Weeki Wachee River State Park to ensure it was pristine year round. They also conducted outdoor property maintenance for a local shelter for abused women and children for the entire year.
This is just a sampling of the projects, events and organizations our associates at these Florida-based facilities were a part of in 2011. Walmart and Sam's Club associates across the U.S. are making volunteerism a priority every day.
Mobilizing associates and customers in the fight against hunger
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have committed $2 billion in cash and in-kind donations through 2015, stepping up efforts to help end hunger in America. Part of this commitment involves mobilizing Walmart associates and customers. For example, Walmart's logistics team is lending their expertise to help food banks become more efficient in their operations
To help with this effort, the Walmart Foundation has launched an initiative with VolunteerMatch to ensure that hunger relief agencies across the nation have the tools, training and volunteers they need to fight hunger in their communities. VolunteerMatch is one of the nation's leading web-based volunteer engagement networks. Through this unique partnership, we hope to triple the number of hunger relief nonprofits who have access to the great tools and trainings available from VolunteerMatch and increase the number of people volunteering for those same nonprofits.