Walmart kicks off Holiday Sing to Salute Military Families campaign; will donate $1 million to Fisher House Foundation

Campaign will provide up to $1.5 million to Fisher House Foundation to bring more military families together while loved ones are treated at nearby hospitals

BENTONVILLE, Ark., 2015-12-2 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today, on Giving Tuesday, Walmart is asking the public to literally lend its voice to support military families this holiday season. The company is kicking off Holiday Sing to Salute Military Families, a nationwide campaign that encourages the public to sing a portion of a classic holiday song while capturing it on video, and then post the video on social media channels to show support for members of the military and their families. Through these actions, Walmart will donate up to $1 million to Fisher House Foundation, which for the past 25 years has provided a home-away-from-home for military and veterans’ families whose loved ones are in a nearby military or veterans hospital. The goal of the donation is to help Fisher House Foundation fund a full year of lodging for military families staying at Fisher Houses on U.S. military bases. Additionally, Walmart is launching the campaign with an initial $500,000 donation to Fisher House Foundation.

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In recent years, more than 250,000 military men and women have returned home from overseas annually, many of whom are seeking medical treatment and are being treated at hospitals away from their families. Walmart’s Holiday Sing to Salute Military Families campaign aims to provide opportunities for these families to spend more time together during recovery while helping to provide a platform for the general public to show its support for our military, veterans and their families during the holiday season.

“For more than 25 years, Fisher House Foundation has helped our nation’s military families be with their loved ones while they recover and receive medical treatment at local hospitals. Walmart is honored to help Fisher House Foundation continue their efforts and share the joy of the season with the families staying at the houses this holiday,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, chief sustainability officer of Walmart and president of the Walmart Foundation. “Our initiative this December is part of Walmart’s overall commitment to support veterans and their families. Working together with our partners, we are helping to strengthen ecosystems that benefit military members as they return home and transition back to civilian life.”

The initial $500,000 donation from Walmart to Fisher House Foundation will be distributed among more than 60 U.S.-based Fisher Houses. This donation will be used for home improvements and holiday festivities, including gifts for families and visits from Santa. Walmart is asking the public to join in the campaign and take action to help Walmart donate up to an additional $1 million. From Dec. 1 to Dec. 22, the public can participate by taking the following steps:

  1. Create a holiday greeting or video of one or more individuals singing a portion of a classic holiday song.
  2. Post the greeting or video on a public Instagram, Twitter or YouTube account with the hashtag #Sing2Salute. If you’re posting on YouTube, make sure the hashtag is in your video’s title and post description.
  3. In the post, tag a friend and call on them to participate.

As always, your posted content should comply with the guidelines of the social media platform you choose. For each public post on Instagram, Twitter or YouTube using the hashtag #Sing2Salute during the campaign, Walmart will donate $100, up to $1 million, to Fisher House Foundation. To learn more about Walmart’s Holiday Sing to Salute Military Families campaign, review rules for participation and see featured videos, visit www.walmart.com/sing2salute.

“I’m so pleased to be working with Walmart this holiday season to bring a little extra cheer to our military, veterans and their families,” said Ken Fisher, chairman and CEO of Fisher House Foundation. “I can’t say that I’m a great singer, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is getting our voices out there to say thank you and spread cheer. That’s what the real purpose of the campaign is all about. And it has double value in that it will help Fisher House Foundation fund lodging for military families staying at Fisher Houses on U.S. military bases. Additionally, Walmart is helping brighten the holidays for families staying at Fisher Houses this holiday. What better way to show that America really cares.”

Walmart’s support of military families and veterans this holiday season is just one way the company is demonstrating its long-standing commitment to support men and women in uniform. This October, Walmart launched the Greenlight A Vet campaign to help create visible and actionable national support for veterans nationwide. Walmart invited all Americans to show support for veterans by changing one light bulb in their home to green, raising awareness on social media, volunteering and serving with veteran groups in their community, or starting a mentor/mentee relationship with a veteran. Walmart is committed to greenlighting veterans, including hiring 250,000 veterans by 2020 through Walmart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment. As part of this effort, Walmart recently greenlighted its 100,000th veteran hire. While a job is a vital piece of transitioning from military to civilian life for a veteran, it also takes a coordinated, multi-sector effort to create healthy transitions to civilian life. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have committed $20 million in grants to organizations that provide veteran job training, education and community-based collaboration.

During the holiday season, Walmart will also provide support to two more nonprofits servicing military families and honoring veterans, including:

  • Operation Homefront: Walmart is helping Operation Homefront put a holiday meal on the table of 8,500 military families in 26 locations nationwide. Walmart has supported Operation Homefront’s Holiday Meals for Military program since 2006.
  • Wreaths Across America: Walmart is providing tractor trailers, private fleet drivers and a donation of $150,000 to Wreaths Across America to help honor U.S. veterans by laying wreaths in 900 locations on National Wreaths Across America Day, Dec. 12.

Additionally, celebrating the Red Kettle Campaign’s 125th anniversary this year, Walmart stores and Sam’s Club locations nationwide will host red kettles and bell ringers throughout December to help The Salvation Army provide food, clothing, shelter, financial assistance and other services to those in need. Walmart also is working to brighten the holidays for local kids in need by sponsoring Fill The Truck events at participating stores. During the weekends of Nov. 27-29, Dec. 4-6 and Dec.11-13, Walmart is inviting customers to visit their local participating stores and donate a new toy, coat or other gift to a local charity for a child in need.

About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 260 million customers and members visit our 11,554 stores under 72 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2015 revenue of $485.7 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.

SOURCE: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Scholarships for Military Children Program applications open on Dec. 15 at commissaries worldwide

FORT LEE, Va., 2015-12-2 — /EPR Retail News/ — Now entering its 16th year, the Scholarships for Military Children Program will be accepting applications from eligible students beginning Dec. 15 at commissaries worldwide or on the Internet at www.militaryscholar.org.

A total of 700 scholarship grants, each worth $2,000, will be awarded for the 2016-17 school year. Those students selected for the honor will join nearly 9,000 who’ve been awarded more than $13.9 million in scholarship grants over the last 15 years.

At least one scholarship will be awarded at every commissary location where qualified applications are received. Additional recipients will be selected based on a prorated basis, so more scholarships will be awarded at those commissaries with larger numbers of applicants.

To qualify for consideration, applicants must be a dependent, unmarried child, younger than 21 – or 23, if enrolled as a full-time student at a college or university – of a service member on active duty, a Reserve or Guard member, retiree or survivor of a military member who died while on active duty, or survivor of a retiree.

Applications must be hand-delivered or shipped via U.S. Postal Service or other delivery methods to the commissary where the applicant’s family normally shops by close of business Friday, Feb. 12, 2016. Applications cannot be emailed or faxed.

Applicants should ensure they and their sponsor are enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System database and have a military ID card. The applicant must attend or plan to attend an accredited college or university, full time, in the fall of 2016 or be enrolled in studies designed to transfer to a four-year program.

Students who are awarded a full scholarship or receive an appointment to one of the military academies or affiliated preparatory schools are not eligible to receive funds from this program. A full scholarship is usually defined as one that provides for payment of tuition, books, lab fees and other expenses.

Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps service members and their families, administers the program. Scholarship Managers, a national, nonprofit, scholarship management services organization, manages and awards the scholarships.

The commissary’s industry partners – vendors, suppliers and manufacturers – and the general public donate money to the program, and every dollar donated goes directly toward funding the scholarships.

For more information, students or sponsors can visit www.militaryscholar.org. You can also call Scholarship Managers at 856-616-9311 or email them at militaryscholar@scholarshipmanagers.com.

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
kevin.robinson@deca.mil

SOURCE: Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA)

The Defense Commissary Agency: 700 students of military families to receive scholarship this year thanks to 2015 Scholarships for Military Children program

FORT LEE, Va., 2015-6-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Seven hundred students of military families will each receive a $2,000 scholarship this year thanks to the 2015 Scholarships for Military Children program.

The scholarship, created in 2001, recognizes the contributions of military families to the readiness of the fighting force and celebrates the commissary’s role in enhancing military quality of life.

“The scholarship program helps improve educational opportunities for military children,” said Marye Carr, Defense Commissary Agency liaison for the program. “And, at DeCA we are proud to be a small part of honoring the best and the brightest young students in our military communities.”

No government funds are used to support the program. DeCA’s industry partners – vendors, manufacturers, brokers, suppliers – and the general public donate money to fund the program, and every dollar donated goes directly to funding the scholarships.

“I’ve always been amazed and impressed with the intelligence, the creativity and the dedication, the pursuit of scholastic excellence shown by these students,” said Michael J. Dowling, DeCA deputy director and COO.

“Our stores host awards ceremonies for scholarship recipients,” Dowling added, “and we all recognize the support of the many folks – our industry partners and the Fisher House Foundation – for making the scholarship possible.” The scholarship program is administered by Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to service members and their families.

“The competition among applicants was keen,” said Fisher House Foundation Vice President Jim Weiskopf. “Those who were selected had excellent grades, had leadership positions in school extracurricular activities and were active volunteers in their communities. Some had full-time or part-time work experience. All wrote thoughtful, well-researched essays.”

Four thousand applications were submitted for this year’s scholarships. The number of scholarship awards each year is based on funds available, but the program awards at least $2,000 at each military commissary. If there are no eligible applicants from a given commissary, the funds designated for that commissary are awarded as an additional scholarship at a different store.

Planning for next year’s program is underway, and an announcement of open dates to apply is usually made in the fall. “For the coming year’s scholarship program, we will remind students the program is open with banners at commissary entrances,” said Carr.

Applications will be available in commissaries worldwide and online at www.militaryscholar.org. To apply for a scholarship, a student must be a dependent, unmarried child, younger than 21 – or 23, if already enrolled as a full-time student at a college or university – of a service member on active duty, reservist, guardsman, retiree or survivor of a military member who died while on active duty or survivor of a retiree.

Applicants should ensure that they, as well as their sponsor, are enrolled in the DEERS database and have a current military ID card.

NOTE: For videos related to this news release, please access the following links: YouTube video and DIVDs video. For photos, please go to our Flickr page.

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
kevin.robinson@deca.mil