Another View: Wal-Mart has long helped local causes

Published: Friday, Jul. 12, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 12A

In reference to "Millions given to mayor's causes" (Page A1, June 30), we wanted to set the record straight on a few items. This story de-emphasized the fact that Wal-Mart has a long track record of giving back to organizations and causes in Sacramento that matter to our customers and our associates.

We opened our first store in Sacramento in 1993, and we now employ thousands of associates and serve tens of thousands of residents each week.

At Wal-Mart, charitable giving has been part of our culture since Day One – more than 51 years ago. Wal-Mart and the Walmart Foundation have supported many non-profits in the area, far and beyond the ones named in the article.

These nonprofits and community groups like Sacramento Veterans Resource Center, Up & At It, River City Food Bank, Roberts Family Development Center, and more, tackle a range of important issues and causes such as homelessness, hunger, workforce development, mentoring and environmental sustainability, just to name a few.

Wal-Mart's community involvement does not begin or end with grants or charitable giving alone. I have been a Wal-Mart associate for a little more than 11 years now and for the last two years I've managed our store on Truxel Road. I'm proud to sit on the boards of organizations such as vice president of 100 Black Men of Sacramento, Habitat for Humanity, Rotary and the WIND Youth Services on behalf of my company and my community.

Last year, my store alone supported more than 30 area charities, some of which were given grants, gift cards or supplies that met their immediate needs. Each fall, my associates and I offer free school supplies to hundreds of lower-income and at-risk students at several elementary and middle schools in the area.

I'm proud that we can help make a meaningful difference in Sacramento, and I'll continue to look for local opportunities that my store, my associates and I can address.

Additionally, hundreds of Sacramento-area Wal-Mart associates volunteer at organizations or schools important in their communities, like California Court Appointed Special Advocates Association, Alta California Regional Center, and many local public schools. And through our company's Volunteerism Always Pays program, the Walmart Foundation awards grants to help match those associate hours with funds.

In 2012, Wal-Mart associates volunteered more than 2.2 million hours nationwide and generated more than $18 million in local grants through the program.

Wal-Mart will continue to focus on things Sacramento residents care about, such as jobs and choices for healthier food, as well as seek opportunities to support programs that make a positive impact in the Sacramento Valley.

Franklin Jackson, a Natomas resident, is manager of Wal-Mart's store on Truxel Road in Natomas.

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