Community Involvement

Oswego Salvation Army Receives Walmart Funding for Feeding Needy

OSWEGO, NY – The Salvation Army of Oswego County has received a grant of $5,681 from the Walmart Foundation as part of a national Walmart donation of one million dollars to Salvation Army centers across the country.

“Oswego is one of four Salvation Army centers in the Empire State Division, covering upstate New York that received funding through this donation. The other Salvation Army centers in Albany, Utica, and Olean received the same amount. Walmart has been an exceedingly generous supporter of The Salvation Army. For the last nine years, the Walmart Foundation has given a one million dollar grant to the Army which is in addition to allowing the Army to raise dollars on site during the holiday season through the Red Kettle campaign,” said Major Donald Hostetler, divisional commander of the Empire State Division of The Salvation Army.

Read More at Salvation Army


PepsiCo, Walmart Step Up For Storm Aid In New York

PepsiCo and Walmart have stepped up to donate supplies to the state of New York in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday was encouraging other corporations to do the same. PepsiCo executive vice president and chief financial officer Hugh Johnston said Sunday that the company had donated 50 trailer loads of products, including Gatorade, Tropicana, Quaker Oats, Pepsi and Lays items, to storm victims. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart has pledged $1.5 million in donations of in-kind products, executive vice president and chief operating officer Gisel Ruiz said at the news conference. “You might think some of these products might look a little bit basic, but you can’t underestimate the importance of products such as cleaning supplies,” Ruiz said.

Read more at CBS New York‎


Volunteers Flock to Disaster Areas, Overwhelming City Relief Centers

Many New Yorkers graced with power and heat in their homes on Sunday found it difficult to sit still as images of homeless and desolate city residents filled their television screens. They streamed into the hardest-hit sections of the city, at times nearly colliding with other would-be volunteers and overwhelming city relief centers. Corporations have also come forward. On Sunday, Walmart donated six trailer truckloads of dry food and beverages, cleaning supplies and board games to New York State. PepsiCo donated five trailer truckloads of beverages and three trailer truckloads of snacks, and has committed to providing about 22 more over the next week.

Read more at the New York Times‎


Walmart Hosts Unusual Fundraiser For Children’s Hospital

WalMart employees having a little fun at work Friday to help raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network to benefit the Children’s Hospital at Albany Med. In East Greenbush store managers were kissing a pig, literally to help raise money. They say they’ve raised more than $27,000 since May 1 just at the East Greenbush store alone.

Read More at WXXA-TV


Walmart Grant Will Boost One Stop Richmond Hill Community Center

Simcha Waisman has 10,000 more reasons to smile.

The president of the One Stop Richmond Hill Community Center was pleased to learn that Walmart has given them $10,000 in funding, through Councilmember Eric Ulrich.

“We’re proud of our track record of philanthropy in the city and are always looking for new opportunities to support programs that are making a difference,” said Steven Restivo, Senior Director of Community Affairs for Walmart, who noted that the company has contributed about $13 million to New York City-based nonprofits since 2007. “The ARISS program at the One Stop Richmond Hill Community Center helps area youth become excited about science and engineering and we hope our contribution will help the organization reach its goals.”

Waisman shared that the funds will go toward a summer camp that will be held for two weeks relating to the Center’s science and technology program.

Recently, the One Stop Richmond Hill Community Center hosted another videoconference with NASA, during which the educators there showed kids what it is like to live in space.

Read more at the Queens Courier


HF Launches ABLE Initiative With $300,00 Award From Walmart Foundation

The Hispanic Federation (HF) today announced the launch of its Adult Basic Literacy and Education (ABLE) Initiative with $300,000 from the Walmart Foundation.  ABLE provides grants to New York City-based HF member agencies that want to expand ESOL, Adult Basic Education, Pre-GED or GED classes.

Latinos, especially low-wage workers and new immigrants, have been devastated by the economic recession.  Lack of high school and college degrees, language barriers and difficulty accessing job training all contribute to this crisis.  Further, there is little availability of free or low-cost ABE, ESL and GED classes.

“Walmart’s generous funding will enable us to open the doors of greater opportunity for hundreds of Latinos,” stated Lillian Rodríguez López, President of the Hispanic Federation.  “We appreciate Walmart for funding solutions to critical issues facing Latinos, and look forward to our partnership on this project.”

“Walmart is committed to promoting education and economic opportunity in New York City and throughout the country,” said Philip Serghini, Director of Community Affairs for Walmart.

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A Diet Pyramid for African Americans Created by Boston Nutrition Group

It may be controversial to suggest that African Americans need a food pyramid tailor-made for them, but then again, this group has experienced the greatest surge in obesity and related illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. Getting back to home-cooked basic dishes — based on staples from the American South, Caribbean, South America, and, yes, Africa — was the thought behind the new African heritage diet pyramid created by Oldways, a nonprofit nutrition education organization based in Boston. Just like Oldways’ Mediterranean diet pyramid and the federal government’s My Plate, the African diet pyramid focuses on fruits and vegetables — with greens including collard, mustard, and kale taking the most prominent spot at the base of the pyramid, which means they should be eaten at every meal. Fruits such as papayas, bananas, and watermelon, and root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots are directly above and should also be eaten in plentiful amounts. Yesterday, Oldways announced that it received a $100,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to get the word out about the new pyramid via supermarket tours, cooking classes, and nutrition lectures to be held in Boston and elsewhere.



The Wal-Mart Foundation Donates $9.5 Million to Promote Minority Healthy Eating 

On Monday, the Wal-Mart Foundation donated $9.5 million in grants to organizations with a shared mission of promoting healthy eating habits. The funding will go toward nutrition education programs and will provide classes focused on cooking and shopping for healthier foods on a budget. A little over a year ago, the company, in conjunction with First Lady Michelle Obama, announced an initiative to provide customers with healthier and more affordable food choices.

Read more at BET


To Promote Healthier Food Choices, Walmart Adds Labels 

As part of its promise last year to improve the nutritional quality of the food it sells, Walmart said on Tuesday that it had devised standards to determine what is healthy and would label the foods that meet those standards. The new label, bright green with the words Great for You, will first appear on the retailer’s own Great Value and Marketside food items this spring, as well as on signs around fresh fruits and vegetable displays. But Walmart executives said the company planned to allow other brands to use the label without paying any licensing fee on products that meet the criteria. ”This is not meant to lecture our customers,” Leslie A. Dach, Walmart’s executive vice president for corporate affairs, said in a telephone interview. ”They can buy a dessert when they want to. But when they want to buy a cracker, we can help them steer them to a healthier cracker if that’s what they’re looking for.”

Read more at the New York Times


Sam’s Club Gets Down to Heart of the Matter With Free Screenings

In honor of American Heart Month, Sam’s Club announced it will be hosting free heart health screenings on Feb. 11 at all locations with a pharmacy. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., members and guests can receive total cholesterol, HDL, glucose, body mass index and blood-pressure tests for. During the screenings, Sam’s Club pharmacies also will offer free samples of related items, the company said. Tests are limited to the first 100 participants at each club location. Cholesterol and glucose testing not available in Tennessee, Maryland and Hawaii; cholesterol testing is not available in New Jersey; and glucose testing not available in Pennsylvania.

Read more at Drug Store News


Walmart to Enhance Spending Goals as Part of its Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Program 

The world’s largest retailer is set to substantially increase its purchases from woman-owned suppliers, from $2.5 billion today to $5 billion by the end of 2016. “Over the next five years, we anticipate increasing our sourcing from WBEs by about 15 to 20 percent annually,” stated Theresa Barrera, Walmart’s vice president of U.S. supplier diversity. Even though Walmart Stores operates 9,700 retail sites in 28 countries, such an escalation in WBE spending will require the company to create some new tactics, as well as intensify its current approaches. The push is part of a larger initiative to help empower women across Walmart’s supply chain around the world. The Bentonville, Ark-based company collaborated with leaders from government, nongovernment organizations, philanthropic groups and academia to establish and launch goals as part of its Global Women’s Economic Empowerment initiative.

Read more at Diversity & Commerce


Getting to the Heart of Christmas 2011: Bastrop County, TX

Walmart has joined the Today Show to co-produce the “Getting to The Heart of Christmas” series, which brings surprise Christmases to deserving families and organizations across America. This morning, the Today Show featured the third and final segments which focused on volunteer firefighters who lost their homes during a devastating wildfire in Bastrop County, TX.

Watch the full video at the Today Show



Getting to the Heart of Christmas 2011: the Innovative Concept Academy

Walmart has joined the Today Show to co-produce the “Getting to The Heart of Christmas” series, which brings surprise Christmases to deserving families and organizations across America. This morning, the Today Show featured the second of three segments which focused on Judge Jimmie Edwards who started the Innovative Concept Academy, a court run school for at-risk youth in St. Louis, which relies mainly on donations to provide for the students.

Watch the full video at the Today Show



Walmart Gives 125,000 Dollars to 17 Nonprofits on the Second Day of Holiday Facebook Campaign

Company Funds Organizations in Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and West Virginia

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Dec. 13, 2011 – On the second day of its “12 Days of Giving” Facebook campaign, Walmart is awarding $125,000 to 17 nonprofits that are building a brighter future for children across the country. Over twelve consecutive days, the company will award a total of $1.5 million to 145 organizations in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

Organizations being honored on the company’s Facebook page today are serving communities in: Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and West Virginia.

“Our Facebook campaign led us to so many organizations that are empowering our next generation this holiday season and year-round,” said Julie Gehrki, senior director at the Walmart Foundation. “We believe that children are our brightest hope for the future, and the organizations that we are honoring today share that belief.”



Walmart’s “12 Days of Giving” Facebook Campaign Spreads $1.5 Million in Holiday Cheer Across All 50 States


On the “First Day of Giving” Retailer Gives $130k to Organizations Stepping Up to Fight Hunger

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Dec. 12, 2011 – ‘Tis the season for spreading holiday cheer and Walmart is doing just that. Today, the company kicks off its “12 Days of Giving” campaign, awarding over $1.5 million to nonprofits that were nominated by Facebook users. By the end of the campaign, 145 grant recipients in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico will be honored. Twenty-five nonprofits that have stepped up to fight hunger are receiving a total of $130,000 on the first day of giving.

Walmart’s 12-day call for submissions resulted in more than 5,400 nominations from Facebook users who shared photos and short descriptions of a nonprofit’s impact in its local community. A panel from the Walmart Foundation reviewed submissions and selected winners with a focus on organizations that are providing basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing and baby supplies. (more…)


Walmart Launches “12 Days of Giving” Campaign on Facebook

Company Commits $1.5 Million to U.S. Nonprofits Focused on Providing Basic Needs


BENTONVILLE, Ark., Nov. 14, 2011 – Who said write-in ballots are only for politics? For the first time, Walmart is empowering Facebook users to write in – or nominate – local nonprofits to receive part of $1.5 million in grants this holiday season. Through its “12 Days of Giving” campaign, the company will accept submissions via Facebook with an eye for local organizations that are providing basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing and baby supplies. (more…)


City Year New York Receives $25,000 Walmart Grant

Grant will support City Year’s work in high-need schools, keeping students in school and on track

Date: September 22, 2011
Contact: Ian Rees, City Year New York – 215.869.9064 |

[New York, September 22, 2011] – Today, City Year New York announced that they are the recipients of a $25,000 grant from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. This donation will support the work of City Year Corps Members who serve in 20 public schools throughout the New York YC, applying the power of national service to help increase student success and close the education achievement gap.



Wal-Mart to help save Jamaica Bay marshes

Jamaica Bay is getting another financial boost from one of the nation’s largest corporations to help improve its dying ecosystem, but despite praise from the city, watchdog groups are calling the act of charity foul. Wal-Mart announced last Thursday the allocation of $100,000 to the Jamaica Bay Salt Marsh Restoration as part of its Acres for America charity program. The bay has lost thousands of acres of the marsh over several decades and the city, state and federal governments have conducted several programs to stop the ecosystem decay and return it to its former state. “We are excited about the opportunity to help revitalize priority wildlife habitats in New York City and bring the Acres for America program to life for our associates and customers,” said Jennifer May-Brust, Wal-Mart vice president of realty.



Walmart’s Latest Gift is for the Birds

In an effort to broaden its public support as it looks to open its first stores in the city, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. gave $200,000 Thursday to two environmental conservation projects in the city. The donations marked the first time the company’s Acres for America program—a 10-year, $35 million initiative to preserve one acre of wildlife habitat in the U.S. for every acre of land developed by the company—has contributed to urban projects. “Walmart is serving more and more urban customers, and this is a natural extension of what we’ve been doing in rural and suburban communities for years,” said Jennifer May-Brust, the company’s vice president of realty.



Harlem RBI Receives $125,000 Grant From Walmart

Donation will help enhance organization’s comprehensive Youth Employment Program and DREAM Charter School

HARLEM, NY, July 26, 2011 – Harlem RBI today announced a $125,000 grant from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation, which will provide summer employment opportunities for New York City youth. Representatives and children from Harlem RBI were joined for the announcement by Walmart and New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira at the organization’s Field of Dreams in East Harlem.

Year round, Harlem RBI serves more than 1,000 boys and girls, from age five to 21. With its unique approach to youth development, including participation on a baseball or softball team and engagement in group-based academic and enrichment programming, the ultimate goal is for youth to build the concrete skills needed to break the cycle of poverty. Since 2005, 97% of Harlem RBI graduates have received a high school diploma or GED, and 93% were accepted to college.

“Harlem RBI’s main focus is ensuring that our local youth are provided with the support needed to get into college and grow into resilient young adults who live healthy, productive lives,” said Rich Berlin, Executive Director of Harlem RBI. “Our organization continues to help many well-deserved students recognize their potential and we are thankful to Walmart for their generous donation and continued work to help improve our community.”

Of Walmart’s $125,000 grant, $75,000 will go toward Harlem RBI’s “Youth Employment Program”, which introduces high school-aged youth to the process of exploring, obtaining and retaining employment opportunities in order to ensure that they are work-ready as teens and economically self-sufficient as adults. Program components include career awareness activities, work readiness training and job placements for participants.

The remaining $50,000 will support Harlem RBI’s DREAM Charter School, which opened in 2008 to better serve the educational needs of the community. Harlem RBI and DREAM recently launched a capital campaign to build an innovative mixed-use facility in East Harlem that will include Harlem RBI program space, DREAM Charter School, a public park and affordable housing for the East Harlem community. New York Yankees All-Star and Harlem RBI board member Mark Teixeira—who has donated over $1 million in support of the project—also serves as the Honorary Chair of the $20 million campaign.

“I’m honored to be a part of the Harlem RBI team and thoroughly enjoy being able to play a hands-on role in helping inner-city youth understand the importance of education and hard work,” said Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees first baseman. “Through initiatives like the Youth Employment Program, Harlem RBI and Walmart help support these young people and prepare them to become the future leaders of our community.”

The grant to Harlem RBI was part of Walmart’s “State Giving Program”, through which the Walmart Foundation supports organizations with programs that align with the company’s mission to create opportunities so people can live better. State Advisory Councils, made up of local Walmart associates, represent each state and determine the needs within their state. The Walmart Foundation continues to fund efforts in workforce development, education, sustainability and health and wellness.

“Harlem RBI puts local kids on a path to success and with Mark’s leadership, their collective work is making a real difference in the lives of countless New Yorkers,” said Steven Restivo, senior director of community affairs for Walmart.  “Walmart is proud to play a role in supporting non-profits throughout the city and we look forward to forging new relationships here for years to come.”

Harlem RBI, a 501(c)3 non profit organization that is celebrating its 20th year of service, began in 1991 when a group of volunteers transformed an abandoned, garbage-strewn lot into two baseball diamonds for the youth of East Harlem. Since then, Harlem RBI has grown to serve more than 1,000 boys and girls, ages 5-21, with year-round academic, sports and enrichment programs. Harlem RBI’s comprehensive approach to youth development replaces the barriers inner-city youth typically face with concrete opportunities to build the skills and confidence needed to graduate high school, matriculate to college and break the cycle of poverty. Since 2005, 97% of Harlem RBI seniors have graduated high school, 93% of seniors have been accepted into college and 99% of participants have avoided teen parenthood.

In 2008, after 17 years of working in East Harlem and producing exceptional results, Harlem RBI opened DREAM Charter School. DREAM’s mission is to educate East Harlem children through a comprehensive K-8 program that builds a community of passionate, lifelong learners. DREAM is a model learning community with high expectations, a strong culture of care and a vision of student success and excellence. Today the school serves 200 students and will grow one grade each year until it reaches capacity at 450 students, grades K-8.

New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira and Harlem RBI entered into a strategic partnership in May 2010 when the two-time MLB All-Star and 2009 World Series champion became a member of Harlem RBI’s Board of Directors. Teixeira served as the honoree with Howard Lutnick from Cantor Fitzgerald/BGC Partners at Harlem RBI’s annual 2011 Bids for Kids Gala at Cipriani on June 6, 2011.