Walmart supports CHKD

Published 10:34 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Workers at Suffolk’s North Main Street Walmart get into the spirit of raising money for the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. This year, the store is aiming to raise more than $100,000, after raising the most nationwide for a children’s hospital in 2012.

Workers at Suffolk’s North Main Street Walmart get into the spirit of raising money for the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. This year, the store is aiming to raise more than $100,000, after raising the most nationwide for a children’s hospital in 2012.

It’s a tough act to follow, but Suffolk’s Main Street Walmart hopes to better last year’s fundraising effort for the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, when it was named the nation’s top fundraiser for children’s hospitals.

“We raised $85,000 last year, and this year we are really striving to raise $100,000,” store manager Amanda Powell said.

That figure includes donations from throughout the year, Powell said, while the official six-week campaign started Tuesday.

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To help the store reach its goal, customers can purchase Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals T-shirts, water bottles or cooler bags.

A cookout at the front of the store last weekend raised $400, Powell said — “That was just selling hotdogs and sausages for four hours,” she added — and a fish fry is planned for next Friday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and yard sale for the following day, taking place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Customers are also being encouraged to give to the campaign at the checkout, she said, and dollar bills, plus some larger bills, are beginning to accumulate in a baby incubator near the service counter.

Workers at the store are enthusiastic about the campaign, Powell said, “because everybody has had some type of experience with CHKD.”

Walmarts and Sam’s Clubs across Hampton Roads are raising money for CHKD. North Suffolk residents are also encouraged to donate at the Harbour View East Walmart.

“Last year our market area raised over $1 million,” Powell said. “We were able to help buy an MRI machine, and it reduced the wait time by 50 percent. That’s amazing.”

Meanwhile, area stores are trying to outdo one another, Powell said. She’s sure the other Walmarts will be trying particularly hard this year to knock the North Main Street store off its pedestal.

“Absolutely (it’s competitive),” she said. “They are all determined that this year they are going to beat us, and we are determined they are not going to beat us.”

Powell also said Suffolk businesses can help out by donating prizes for silent auctions. She can be reached at 925-0224.

CHKD Senior Vice President Stephanie Calliott commented, “What is so special about Walmart’s activities is that it goes way beyond just giving a check. The employees and management pour their hearts into this effort and it makes a huge difference.”