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Walmart Distribution Center Gives Back

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There's a company in town that has a distribution center you don't often see. It's not open to the public, but it has 500 employees and it gives millions of dollars in donations to local charities, large and small. The Walmart Distribution Center east of Sparks recently won an award for its charitable work. We went behind-the-scenes to find out what makes the company and its employees so generous.

The Walmart Distribution Center is housed in a one million square-foot facility and serves stores in northern Nevada, northern California and southern Oregon. It distributes millions of pounds of groceries.

Distribution Center General Manager Ron McLemore says it's quite a process. "All of our suppliers and vendors deliver the food to us. We sort it out, wrap it and store it. As our stores order it, we palletize it, load it up and deliver it to them," said Mclemore.

The company, along with its 500 employees, pump millions of dollars of donations into our community.

Employees have adopted 140 children from an Angel Tree that stands in the warehouse. The children, identified by the Committee to Aid Abused Women and the Children's Cabinet will have packages under the tree this Christmas. So far, the Walmart Distribution Center has given more than $250,000 to local charities in northern Nevada. That doesn't include the 2.5 million pounds of food and the $50,000 grant they've given to the Food Bank of Northern Nevada.

This Friday, employees from the distribution center will be volunteering for the KTVN "Share your Christmas" Drive-by Food Drive. "If we can get 50 people to volunteer for any event, then the Walmart foundation will give $5,000 dollars to that organization, on top of the time we give the organization to help it achieve its goals," said McLemore. 

The generous giving earned the Walmart Distribution Center the Cornerstone Award for Outstanding Corporation from the Sierra chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. This week management and employees will take $1,000 collected by distribution center employees for the Secret Santa Program, and pay down some lay-away accounts at local Walmart stores. The money was raised through a bake sale and a donation box at the distribution center. McLemore says it's just part of the culture at the distribution center. "We have over 500 associates and I think we have the best group of people in northern Nevada working there."

Written by Jennifer Burton

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