CLEARWATER – A local Walmart Supercenter at U.S. 19 and Coachman Road, began partnering with the Homeless Emergency Project in November of 2013 by selecting the organization to participate in its annual Fill-A-Truck toy drive benefiting underprivileged children.
In a new spin on the event, HEP was permitted to ask for personal care items for the veteran and adult population it serves, including soap, shampoo, linens, clothing and other toiletries. In addition to allowing HEP to ask for donations from store patrons, Walmart itself donated over $750 worth of gift cards, as well as bicycles and other items for HEP’s children. Once the Fill-A-Truck event wrapped up, Walmart continued to partner with HEP, providing regular donations of items such as pallets of bananas and strawberries, blankets, school supplies, and household items which were distributed to HEP’s residents.
Most recently, Walmart awarded the organization a $2,000 community grant to help sustain its meal service program.
Store reps presented the check to HEP’s leadership team in front of 20 guests from various Walmart locations. Following the check presentation, Jackie Dryden, HEP development director, provided the group with an overview of how HEP is able to maintain its model success rate, breaking the cycle of homelessness for thousands each year.