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Friday, Sep 4, 2020

Local Walmart and Sam’s Club stores raise more than $240,000 for Niswonger Children’s Hospital

Nothing – not a global pandemic or the nearly unprecedented challenges it can cause – will stop the people of the Appalachian Highlands from doing what they can to help others, especially local children.

Residents of Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and Southeast Kentucky donated more than $240,000 during the annual Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals campaign at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores, which took place from June 22 to July 31. It was a nearly record-breaking amount, marking a more than 30% increase from the 2019 total – despite the continued coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“It’s frequently said that during the toughest times, you see what people are really made of,” said Jack Simpson, president of Ballad Health Foundation.

“And now, we know who our friends and neighbors truly are: They’re compassionate, forward-thinking and generous members of our community, and they’re committed to making our region and world better.

“During one of the most turbulent times in recent history, generous Walmart and Sam’s Club shoppers, as well as the dedicated store associates who made this campaign possible, found a way to help make the Appalachian Highlands an even greater place to live and grow up.”

Twenty-two regional Walmart and Sam’s Club locations – including supercenters, warehouses, neighborhood markets and transportation centers – participated in the campaign, primarily raising money through customers and members who donated when they checked out. Associates also fundraised through in-store contests and events.

“I’m extremely proud of our associates for not only providing outstanding service to our customers every day, but to rising to the occasion to do something so remarkable for local children and their families,” said Jonathon Tunnell, manager of Walmart Market 124, which includes many stores in Northeast Tennessee. “Their efforts reach beyond our stores to impact countless people in the Appalachian Highlands, and I’m so honored to work with such an enthusiastic, compassionate team as part of the Walmart family.”

 Niswonger Children’s Hospital, the regional affiliate of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, is the recipient of all local fundraising, retail partnerships and sponsorship support raised in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia Walmart and Sam’s Club stores. Proceeds benefit sick and injured children in the children’s hospital’s 29-county service area by paying for a variety of needs, including equipment, research, supplies and charitable care.

“People in this region have seen firsthand, just in the last five months, how vital it is for our children to have access to high-quality, convenient healthcare services,” said Lisa Carter, chief executive officer of Niswonger Children’s Hospital and Ballad Health’s vice president of pediatric services.

“Even though many people are struggling right now, they still recognize the value of our children’s hospital to our communities and have chosen to support us, and by extension, local kids.

“Advances in technology and care, such as telemedicine, specialty care and partnerships with other like-minded organizations, are only made possible by selfless people who step forward to help Niswonger Children’s Hospital and Ballad Health build a legacy of superior health in this region – starting with our youngest patients and residents.”

This was the 33rd year of the campaign, and to date, Walmart and Sam’s Club associates, customers and members have raised $1 billion for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and almost $6 million in this region. 

“We’re exceptionally fortunate to collaborate with philanthropic businesses and people who are passionate about improving local health, wellness and well-being,” Simpson said. “Thanks to our relationship with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and corporate partners like Walmart – as well as the thousands of people who contribute individually – we’re at the forefront of healthcare, working every day to make the Appalachian Highlands stronger and better.”

Walmart and Sam's Club funds impact each of the 170 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, which treat one in 10 children across North America.

“Walmart stores are important pieces of our communities’ economies, so it’s important we be good community partners, too,” said James Marshall, manager of Walmart Market 123, which consists of many stores in Southwest Virginia. “Our stores and warehouses are major parts of many people’s lives – and for many families in the Appalachian Highlands, the same can be said for Niswonger Children’s Hospital. We’re thrilled to be part of this campaign and do our part to make lives better for families and children.”  

Hospitals use the funds based on what they need most — typically providing lifesaving equipment and research, supporting top therapy programs and providing charitable care.

“Money raised at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores has completely revolutionized children’s healthcare, and we’re reaping the benefits of that at Niswonger Children’s Hospital,” Carter said. “Thank you to all the store associates and leaders, as well as the shoppers and supporters, who are helping us be the place that makes kites fly, helps and heals the young people of our region and, ultimately, makes hope rise.”

Donations to Niswonger Children’s Hospital can also be made at any time by visiting the Foundation page or calling 423-302-3131. More information about Niswonger Children’s Hospital can be found on our Niswonger Children’s Hospital page.