BENTONVILLE, Ark., Nov. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, in observance of Veterans Day, Walmart announced significant progress in its support for veterans and military families. The company reported that it has hired more than 20,000 veterans since the launch of its Welcome Home Commitment on Memorial Day. It also kicked off its holiday giving with a $2 million donation to Operation Homefront and Fisher House to provide toys, meals and lodging to military families in greatest need of support this year. The donation will also help hundreds of active duty service members come home for the holidays.
The holiday donation is in addition to the commitment by the Walmart Foundation to give $20 million through 2015 to help veterans and their families prepare for successful civilian lives through job training, transition support and education.
"Today we're reinforcing our pledge to hire, learn from and support our military heroes in every way we can, whether it's recruiting veterans or reuniting military families during the holidays," said Bill Simon, Walmart U.S. president and CEO and U.S. Navy veteran. "Through their service, our troops give us a land of freedom. We will keep doing our part to give them a land of possibility."
20,000 Jobs for Veterans
Earlier this year Walmart pledged to offer a job to any honorably discharged veteran within his or her first 12 months off active duty. Since Walmart launched its Welcome Home Commitment on Memorial Day 2013, more than 20,000 veterans have been hired. "We are proud of the progress that has been made to this point, and we applaud other companies that have made their own hiring pledges, including most recently Starbucks, in what truly should be a national effort," said Simon.
Walmart recruits veterans into positions that best match their skills and professional goals, from immediate jobs in stores and clubs to long-term careers. The company expects its commitment to result in the hiring of more than 100,000 veterans over the next five years.
U.S. Army Capt. Mike Bolton is one of the veterans hired by Walmart this year. He is a Logistics Load Manager at one of the company's regional operations centers. "I wanted to be part of a company where I can go as far as my talent and hard work can take me," said Bolton. "When I went to a local recruiting fair, I was excited to see Walmart reaching out to veterans. The skills I learned in the military translate well into my new job and I can see myself growing with the company."
Walmart is one of the largest private employers of veterans in the country. Its workforce includes more than 100,000 veterans and another 150,000 associates who are part of veteran and military families.
Operation Homefront Receives $1.5 Million for "Home for the Holidays" Program
The holidays can be an especially challenging time for military families with a deployed spouse, parent or child. Operation Homefront will receive $1.5 million to provide 25,000 toys and more than 17,000 meals to military families nationwide. The gift also will support Operation Homefront's "Home for the Holidays" program, which will bring home 500 active duty military to spend the holidays with their families.
"It is because of partners like Walmart that we are able to honor our commitment to provide year-round emergency financial assistance to the families of our military members and wounded warriors," stated Jim Knotts, Operation Homefront president and CEO. "Not only are our military families dealing with the challenge of deployment and separation from loved ones, but they're also confronted by difficult economic situations like many Americans. In fact, this year alone, we've seen requests for emergency financial assistance triple over historical levels. We are proud of our partnership with Walmart, and through our combined efforts we can make this time of year much more meaningful for thousands of military families."
Largest Single Donation to Fisher House "Sponsor a Family" Program
In addition, Walmart will give $500,000 to the Fisher House "Sponsor a Family" program, the largest single donation to the program, which provides a home away from home for families with a service member in the hospital for an illness, disease or injury. The funding will provide 50,000 nights of free lodging for families so they can be close to loved ones.
"As an organization, we work very hard to fill the gaps and help our military during very difficult times, usually when a loved one is sick, or recovering from an injury. Our ability to make an impact is amplified through the support of partners, like Walmart, going above and beyond the call of duty," stated Ken Fisher, Fisher House Foundation chairman and CEO. "The support from Walmart will enable us to cover the cost for half of our guests during the next year, a gift that is truly priceless to those we serve."
Calling All Americans for a Nationwide Salute
To make sure everyone has the opportunity to join Walmart in saluting our nation's military families, Operation Homefront and Fisher House are offering Americans online destinations for donating:
- Visit fisherhouse.org/Walmart to make a donation and salute Fisher House's "Sponsor a Family" program.
- Visit operationhomefront.net/walmart to make a donation and salute military families this holiday season.
Consumers can also celebrate our nation's heroes with Walmart's Wall of Honor at walmart.com/wallofhonor, an online venue where anyone can recognize and share about the veterans in their lives, or join the conversation by following @WalmartVeterans on Twitter.
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, more than 245 million customers and members visit our more than 11,000 stores under 69 banners in 27 countries and ecommerce websites in 10 countries. With fiscal year 2013 sales of approximately $466 billion, Walmart employs more than 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 corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at twitter.com/walmartnewsroom. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.
SOURCE Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.