Area schools receive Wal-Mart bonus grants

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 12, 2000

The Greenville Wal-Mart Store recently donated more than $2,600 to area schools as part of the retail giant's bonus involvement fund from the Wal-Mart Foundation.

Wal-Mart sponsors four programs annually for charitable giving, and according to the Greenville store's personnel manager June Earnest, the local store gives more than $10,000 each year to help sponsor worthy causes and charitable events in the Greenville and Butler County community.

Fort Dale Academy, Georgiana High School, Greenville Middle School Center were recently awarded $500 each from the Greenville store to be used to fund programs within those organizations. Earnest said the program is one of the ways Wal-Mart tries to give back to the communities in which it does business.

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"Each year we are awarded bonus grant funds we use to help organizations in the community," she said. "The bonus funds allow us to make a donation to the schools without needing a reason."

Earnst said that other giving programs include Make a Difference Day, a $1,000 award given to one school each year; Grandparents, an award given to an organization for the purpose of helping the elderly and matching grants, a program that allows an organization to receive matching funds from Wal-Mart for fund-raisers done on the store premises.

Earnest said the recent donations were made to schools because no other organization had applied. She said the store tries to make sure each school gets a share of the annual giving programs.

"We keep a list and make sure we get around to everyone," she said.

In the past year, Wal-Mart has made bonus grant contributions to W.O. Parmer Elementary School, R.L. Austin Elementary School, McKenzie School, Greenville Academy, Centenary Assembly of God, Mount Olive Baptist Church and others.

She said matching grant donations were made to the Greenville Academy Junior Varsity Cheerleaders, First Assembly of God, The American Cancer Society, Greenville High School, GHS Cheerleaders and the First Baptist Church in Georgiana.

Earnest said any organization can apply for the charitable giving programs, but must be able to show a worth-while use for the money.

In 1999, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., contributed more than $102 million to Children's Miracle Network, United Way and thousands of other local, non-profit organization in the communities it serves.