Walmart raises money for hospital

Published 9:42 pm Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Employees at the North Main Street Walmart hope to break a fundraising record for the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.

Suffolk-area Walmart and Sam’s Club stores are asking customers to dig deep to help raise money for the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.

As part of the Walmart company’s longstanding involvement in the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, which supports 170 children’s hospitals across America, Suffolk-area stores will be taking donations and holding fundraising events through June 15.

According to North Main Street Walmart manager Amanda Powell, the company has raised more than $600 million for the charity in the past 25 years.

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Powell’s store has been a reliable contributor to that grand sum, last year raising the second-largest amount companywide and the largest amount for CHKD, she said.

“The majority of the money we raise comes from customer donations at the register,” Powell explained. “We’re going to be asking them to donate again.”

Powell has a personal connection to CHKD after her daughter spent a month in the hospital with a blood condition.

She said this is part of the reason her store raises so much for the charity. “I think that would be part of it, but I just think the people really care,” she said.

She said many have been touched by children’s illnesses, directly or indirectly. “If you haven’t been affected by it personally, you know someone who has,” she said.

Customers at Powell’s store can also give by purchasing Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals T-shirts, water bottles and cooler bags.

The store is also planning fish fries and other fundraising events.

Powell has set the store’s 2012 fundraising target at $100,000 after it raised $84,341 in 2011.

The 26 Walmart and Sam’s Club stores collecting for CHKD raised a combined $819,000 last year, and have set a 2012 target of $1 million.

“You can imagine that every dollar is needed for the hospital,” CHKD spokeswoman Lisa Davenport said.

“All that money raised goes to our radiology department. Last year the money helped purchase an additional MRI machine; nothing specific has been earmarked for this year.”

Davenport paid tribute to the enthusiasm of Walmart employees for the cause.

“It’s just been so exciting and enthusiastic in those stores,” she said. “How hard they work is amazing.”