12 Days of Giving

Last year, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave $958.9 million in cash and in-kind contributions. This includes $872.7 million in cash and in-kind gifts in the United States and $86.2 million in cash and in-kind gifts in international markets. This year they’re upping the ante, promising $1.5 million in grants for this holiday season alone. Better still, they’re putting the decision of where the grants go into the hands of the people they’ve pledged to. You can now nominate the nonprofit organization in your area that you believe needs funding the most on Walmart Live Better!

So far Walmart has helped many organizations and communities. Of these is the Hunter Hospitality House, a bed-and-breakfast type hospitality house close to Port Huron Hospital. The house was established to help family members by providing a place to rest while still being close to the hospital that their loved one is being taken care of in. The home was started by Jeff and Tracy Willard, whose son Hunter was born two months prematurely on Dec. 7, 1991, and passed away just before Christmas on Dec. 23, 1991. He was in and out of the hospital several times during his short little life, requiring feeding all the time. This tiring situation, in conjunction with the toll the emotional stress took, made the trips to the hospital dangerous for Mr. and Mrs. Willard. So they opened the house on December 7, 2011, which would have been Hunter’s 20th birthday. Not long after that they received a $20,000 grant to aid them in their mission.

In the giving spirit of the holidays, our family likes to give our donations whenever we can. Every Christmas we make it a point to buy a few presents to leave in those donation boxes. This year, I plan on taking the boys to the store, giving them each an amount of money and letting them shop to donate. I think it will be fun and a great learning experience as well.

You can help your local organization in these ways and more. A good place to start is nominating them for a grant from the Walmart Foundation. So how do you plan to help your community this holiday season?

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