The Walmart Foundation has announced grants totaling $2 million to provide holiday toys, meals, and lodging to military families in need of assistance, as well as to help hundreds of active duty service members come home for the holidays.
The foundation awarded $1.5 million to Operation Homefront to provide twenty-five thousand toys and more than seventeen thousand meals to military families nationwide. The grant also will support the organization's Home for the Holidays program, which will bring five hundred active-duty service members home to spend the holidays with their families.
In addition, Walmart awarded a $500,000 grant to Fisher House in support of its Sponsor a Family program, which provides housing for families with a service member in the hospital. The grant, the largest single donation to the program, will enable it to provide fifty thousand nights of free lodging for military family members so they can be close to loved ones.
The foundation also announced that it had helped more than twenty thousand veterans find employment as part of its Welcome Home commitment, which it announced over the Memorial Day holiday. The grants are in addition to the foundation's commitment to give $20 million through 2015 to help veterans and their families prepare for successful civilian lives through job training, transition support, and education.
"It is because of partners like Walmart that we are able to honor our commitment to provide year-round emergency financial assistance to the families of our military members and wounded warriors," said Operation Homefront president and CEO Jim Knotts. "Not only are our military families dealing with the challenge of deployment and separation from loved ones, but they're also confronted by difficult economic situations like many Americans. In fact, this year alone, we've seen requests for emergency financial assistance triple over historical levels. We are proud of our partnership with Walmart, and through our combined efforts we can make this time of year much more meaningful for thousands of military families."