As excited as JoAnn Wondra was about the Family Crisis Center receiving a $30,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation, she can’t show the public the van that was purchased with the gift.
The van, like the FCC’s shelter for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, is nondescript — hidden from the public eye but available for those who need it.
So, while her first thought was to pose for a photo with members of the Family Crisis Center’s leadership team and associates from Great Bend’s Walmart Supercenter in front of the van, they opted to meet at the store on March 13 and hold a huge facsimile check.
“Family Crisis Center was in dire need of a vehicle to provide transportation for our survivors and their children in our shelter,” Wondra said. The center serves 10 counties, and the van helps survivors get to the shelter in Great Bend and to doctor’s appointments, work, school and anywhere else they may need to go.
“We are so excited to now have a 15-passenger van to allow us to accommodate all of those needs,” Wondra said. “We are thankful to Walmart for this grant.”
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation hosted a celebratory event in February awarding $450,000 in grants to 11 nonprofit organizations in Kansas. Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer, Walmart executives, associates and Walmart State Giving grant recipients gathered at the Topeka Supercenter to reflect on each organization’s positive impact on Kansas residents. To close the ceremony, Walmart presented checks to each nonprofit in attendance.
“We appreciate the Walmart Foundation’s commitment to supporting local organizations that make a difference in the areas of hunger relief and community engagement,” said Colyer. “I have always said that Kansans are very generous and caring people. Giving back is the Kansas way. I am proud the Walmart Foundation is able to support programs and services that positively impact the lives of Kansans across the state.”
Twice a year, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation look for organizations that address the needs of the communities they serve and make a significant social impact on a local and state level.
Other recipients of Walmart Foundation State Giving grants:
• The Center for Learning Tree Institute received $71,539 to fund the installation of a new fire alarm system and more than 95 smoke detectors at the West Bourbon Elementary School in Uniontown.
• East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corporation received $75,000 to support its Food & Nutrition Program, which aims to provide greater access to healthy foods for food-insecure households in its service area. ECKAN will use the grant to purchase a refrigerated box truck, which will be used to safely distribute perishable food within a seven county area.
• First Call for Help Inc. received $25,000 to purchase essential hygiene items – including laundry soap, shampoo, hair conditioner, bath soap, toothpaste and other products – for shelter residents.
• Inter-Faith Ministries received $41,461 to purchase a new conversion van, which will be used to transport residents, deliver supplies and food and facilitate its street outreach program.
• Kansas School for Effective Learning received $25,000 to fund the organization’s GED and English programs.
• The Lord’s Diner received $35,000 for its Feeding the Hungry initiative. The organization’s current expansion projects, include the addition of a third food truck to its mobile program and a third fixed site location in Pittsburg.
• Northwest Kansas Area Agency on Aging Inc. received $59,000 to support its Homestead Nutrition Program, which aims to serve thousands of hot, nutritious meals to seniors on a daily basis. The grant will be used to purchase new kitchen equipment, which will replace old and outdated materials.
• Operation Homefront received $33,000 for its Back To School Brigade, which aims to purchase backpacks, school supplies and lunch supplies for school-aged military children.
• Race Against Breast Cancer received $25,000 to fund its No-Cost Mammography program, providing free mammograms to those in need.
• Special Olympics Kansas received $30,000 for its Healthy Athletes program, which provides free health screenings to registered Special Olympics Kansas athletes.
In FY 2016, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $10.6 million in cash and in-kind contributions to support nonprofit organizations and programs in Kansas focused on fighting hunger and healthy eating, veteran reintegration, workforce development, disaster preparedness and other needs specific to many Kansas communities.