Walmart employees raising money for hospital charity

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For the past 12 years, the Walmart Supercenter in Belen has been raising funds for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a nonprofit organization raising funds and awareness for its more than 170 hospitals that treat 17 million children every year.

But this year, store associates are going above and beyond to reach their store’s fundraising goal of $20,000.

As part of Belen Walmart’s Supercenter campaign to raise $20,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, students from La Merced Elementary School created flyers advertising for the event.

Walmart associates got a head start on the six-week campaign, which runs from May 1 through June 14, by starting their fundraising in April.

In two weeks, associates have raised $4,664, which is close to the same amount they raised during last year’s campaign of $5,000.

Amanda Leon, the store’s training coordinator, said she has a good feeling about reaching the $20,000 goal.

“This year we want to meet that goal,” Leon said. “We want to raise money for the hospitals and (that money) pays for anything the children’s ward needs.”

This campaign is part of a nationwide Walmart and Sam’s Club effort to provide financial support for CNMH by selling paper balloons, according to Walmart’s website.

By helping CNMH, Walmart employees are helping children from the Belen area who are treated in hospitals supported by CNMH funds.

“One of our community’s children could be in these hospitals, and residents will know that we helped raised money for them,” Leon said.

On top of selling $1 paper balloons, employees are asking customers for spare change donations, selling snacks, such as popcorn and chocolate-covered strawberries, and hosting a number of events.

Fundraising events include:

• 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Friday, May 4: Food sale

• 8 a.m.-2 p.m, Saturday, May 5: Arts and Crafts Fair

• 10 a.m.-3 p.m: Friday, May 11: Bake sale

• 10 a.m.-3-.m.: Saturday, May 12: Walk/run/bike marathon

• 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Friday, May 18: Food sale

• Saturday, May 19: A $5 Zumba class

• 10 a.m-3 p.m.: Friday, May 25: Bake sale

• Saturday, May 26: Volleyball tournament

• 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Friday, June 1: Hot dog sale

• 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Friday, June 8, Bake sale

The store’s largest fundraiser will be a family festival from 3 to 10:30 p.m., Saturday, June 2, at Eagle Park in Belen, where a movie will be shown.

Employees are competing against each other to raise the most money in donations and paper balloon sales to receive a paid day off.

Departments are also competing against one another in the hopes of receiving a pizza party.

But Sara Gabaldon, customer service manager, said associates are pushing themselves to help the sick children.

“The motivation for cashiers is helping the children,” Gabaldon said.

For information on locations and times of events, look for flyers at the Belen Walmart or ask a Walmart associate.


-- Email the author at aortiz@news-bulletin.com.