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Walmart and Sam’s Club kick off annual fundraising campaign to raise money for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital Monday, June 28

Across Iowa and surrounding states, thousands of Walmart and Sam’s Club associates, champions, and area leaders began meeting last week to share strategies and build enthusiasm for this year’s annual fundraising drive.  

Since 1987, Sam’s Club and Walmart locations across the country have partnered with the Children’s Miracle Network every year to raise money for local hospitals during a month-long event.   

During the campaign, Walmart Associates ask shoppers to round up their purchases, donate a fixed dollar amount at the register, or make cash donations at the door.  

As part of the run-up to the start of the campaign, members of the University of Iowa Center for Advancement present to Walmart Associates and leadership in-store to share stories of why they fundraise. 

At an impact presentation in Muscatine, Iowa, Walmart Associates learned about how fragile premature babies are and the importance of asking every customer to donate in support of all patients and families treated at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital (UISFCH) each year.  

“By the end of the presentation, I had the associates telling their stories about how they have been impacted by UISFCH,” said Andrea Chambers, assistant director of development at the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. “They were all engaged and excited about how they are going to go forward and raise money to help the kids, and we ended the meeting with the Walmart Cheer!”  

Despite a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of children and families, some associates struggle to begin the conversation with shoppers.  

“The biggest challenges that Walmart associates have is making the ask,” Chambers said. “They get told ‘no,’ and it is hard not to take it personally.”  

Associates overcome their hesitation by staying focused on who benefits from the donations collected.  

“You just have to keep asking and remember why you are asking,” Chambers said. “Kids can’t wait, and they need your help to get better, faster.”  

This year’s campaign starts on June 28th and runs through July 25th and 79 Walmart and Sam’s Club locations will rally together in hopes of raising over $700,000 this year for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. 

Walmart associates pose for a photo at the donation station which greets customers as they enter the store.