While we give to more than 100,000 diverse charitable causes and organizations around the world, the following areas reflect some of our largest commitments.
Teacher of the Year
Education is one of our top priorities, and in 2006, we contributed more than $57 million to support education initiatives across the United States, including local schools and universities, student scholarships, educational organizations and our “Teacher of the Year Program.” In the same year, the “Teacher of the Year Program” provided $4.5 million to schools across the country and honored 4,000 of the country’s top teachers. Since its inception in 1995, the program has recognized more than 25,000 teachers in the United States.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army has a long-standing relationship with Wal-Mart. During the holiday season, we demonstrate our support for the organization’s Red Kettle Campaign by allowing the bell ringers to set up in front of our stores and Clubs. In 2006, donations collected in the Red Kettles at Wal-Mart locations reached an all-time high of $30.4 million, accounting for 25 percent of all donations to The Salvation Army’s campaign. Also in 2006, the company hosted “Bells Ringing across America,” a nationwide event that featured Associates ringing bells in front of stores and Clubs to encourage donations. In conjunction with the launch event, Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott announced a $1.25 million contribution from the Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club Foundation to the annual campaign.
Wal-Mart has a long history of supporting our nation’s military and their families. In 2006, the company partnered with Sesame Workshop and provided nearly $1.5 million to develop an outreach project aimed at helping children of military personnel deal with the challenges of deployment. We also gave $500,000 in toys and gifts to military families with loved ones deployed overseas through our “Operation Christmas” initiative in partnership with Operation Homefront and America Supports You.
Children’s Miracle Network
The Children’s Miracle Network, an organization that aids children’s hospitals, is one of the most significant recipients of our charitable giving. We estimate that in 2006, our company, in partnership with U.S. and Canadian customers, provided nearly $34 million in support of the organization, including an estimated $3 million from Wal-Mart Canada.
Acres for America
Acres for America is a partnership between Wal-Mart Stores and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to conserve critical wildlife habitats for future generations. Through the program, we’ve committed $35 million over 10 years to permanently conserve at least one acre of priority wildlife habitat for every developed acre of our current footprint, as well as land we develop throughout the 10-year commitment. To date, the Acres for America program has permanently conserved over 395,000 acres, helping connect conservation landscapes totaling more than 4.6 million acres.
America’s Second Harvest
In conjunction with a $5 million donation to America’s Second Harvest: the Nation’s Food Bank Network, we developed a partnership to increase awareness of hunger in the United States. Through customer donations at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club locations nationwide, an additional $3.7 million was raised to purchase and distribute protein-rich foods to individuals in need through America’s Second Harvest member food banks.
When disaster strikes, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club locations can be counted on to work with disaster relief agencies, supporting their lifesaving work and helping communities begin the recovery effort. Whether in the United States in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, or in Central America in the aftermath of Hurricanes Felix and Dean, we have worked to support communities with groceries, relief supplies and financial contributions to recover and rebuild.