As part of its Health and Wellness Giving Day on June 18, Walmart donated more than $1 million to organizations across the country.
Walmart gave $78,000 to organizations in Arizona, according to Amber Pate-Mozroll, market health and wellness director for Walmart.
Pate-Mozroll said Walmart’s Health and Wellness Giving Day is a way for the company to give back to its local communities.
“We are very passionate about serving our community and being that store, that pharmacy in the community,” she said. “Really the most important part is that this was our way to create a connection with the community that we serve and do some good.”
She said that only Walmart Neighborhood Markets participated in the program this year and that pharmacy managers at these locations chose the organizations that received these donations.
“Neighborhood markets across the country present grants to local nonprofit organizations, and it’s the pharmacy managers who have identified organizations,” Pate-Mozroll said. “We asked them to relate it to health and wellness, and they have identified these organizations they serve in their community.”
She said more than 600 stores participated in the event, and over 600 organizations received donations of at least $1,000.
Walmart tried to find smaller organizations with which its donations could have a bigger impact.
“This was just our way of creating that impact in our community on a local level, and we try to find as many organizations that were small organizations that we could really make an impact with the funds that we were donating,” Pate-Mozroll said.
Kenzie Kares Foundation in Litchfield Park received a $1,000 donation from Walmart.
“It’s definitely been a huge support for us. It’s one of our larger donations this far,” said Lindsay Hebrard, executive director of Kenzie Kares Foundation.
Hebrard said she started the organization in 2019 in honor of her daughter Mackenzie, who was born premature at only 15 ounces. Mackenzie spent about a year in the NICU, which inspired Hebrard to start the organization in hopes of helping others in similar situations.
“We started the Kenzie Kares Foundation in order to support other families who are going to the NICU,” she said. “So, a lot of what we do is exactly that. We support local NICUs mostly through Banner Health.”
At Banner Health, a training program was started for families with children who have feeding tubes or have recently come off a ventilator. It also started “Little Free Libraries” at two Banner hospitals.
Hebrard said Kenzie Kares Foundation also works to connect these families with resources including assistance with transportation, day care for other children in the family, training, therapy or medical equipment.
She looks forward to continuing to grow the organization and that it will be “constantly evolving with whatever families need.”
She said this donation from Walmart will be helpful in implementing the foundation’s goals.
“This donation is huge for us, and it’s definitely starting us off in a new path … and providing opportunities to support other families and other kids going through the NICU process,” Hebrard said. “It’s definitely an honor that we were even considered.”
Anyone interested in learning more about the nonprofit can visit
Glendale’s One Step Beyond Inc. received a $2,000 donation from Walmart.
“We have been appreciative of the support from Walmart,” said Jeff Swanson, executive director of Arizona development and communications for One Step Beyond.
He said One Step Beyond helps adults with disabilities and providing them with resources.
“We provide dynamic programs for adults who have intellectual disabilities,” Swanson said.
These include programs relating to social, math and English skills, in addition to resume-writing and interviewing skills. It also has culinary, fine arts and fitness programs.
Swanson said donations from the community help make these programs possible.
“Funds from community partners like Walmart really help the program grow into what it is, which is an opportunity for adults with intellectual disabilities to grow and get the support they need,” he said. “So, from the vocational side, to connect them with meaningful employment … community partners like Walmart are what makes those programs come to life.”
Swanson said anyone interested in getting involved or learning more about the organization can visit its website at osbi.org.
Pate-Mozroll said these donations from Walmart are part of the company’s effort to connect and engage with local communities.
“This was born out of the idea of really having our pharmacists have that connection with the community and really giving back to the communities that we serve and the places that we serve,” she said.
She said the program has grown considerably since it was started three years ago and that the hope is to continue to grow it.
“It’s really fantastic, and we’re really hoping to grow this. … This was started in this region and has really blossomed,” Pate-Mozroll said. “I’m really excited about this initiative. … There are so many smiling faces, so many organizations that we’ve really been able to impact, and it’s quite fantastic.”