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Walmart donates $4,000 to local nonprofit groups

The Thomson Walmart store helped those in need last week by giving grants to several nonprofit organizations.

Thomson Walmart Store Manager Georgia Pressley and Assistant Manager Cindy Nelson presented $1,000 checks each to Angel Flight, the Thomson Family Y, Special Olympics and the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce.

"We do a lot of donations at the store level to help associates, but we try to branch out into the community, also," Ms. Pressley said. "Cindy has done a wonderful job for years choosing organizations to receive grants. She's very fair and consistent. ... We are very glad to help out those in need."

Angel Flight is a nonprofit volunteer pilot organization that provides free air transportation for medical treatments to anyone in need and unable to afford transportation on their own.

South Carolina Branch Manager Bo Bowman flew into Thomson to accept the check for the organization. Mr. Bowman said although Angel Flight serves patients in six south eastern states, Georgia has the most flights, averaging 2,000 a year. Mr. Bowman said South Carolina had only around 200 flights last year. He said the number one type of medical patient they transport is cancer, and the second is burn patients going to and from the burn center in Augusta. The cost of each flight averages $500.

"I feel so lucky to combine what I love to do with helping people who need help," Mr. Bowman said.

He presented a gift of an Angel Flight bear to the Walmart store managers.

Thomson Family Y, Y130 branch manager Corie Johnson said they would use the money for their scholarship program for Strong Kids.

"Mainly the camp program, which allows families to have good, affordable child care during the summer," she said, adding that there were 70 children in the summer camp this year. "The Family Y does not turn anyone away due to financial need."

Ms. Nelson said Walmart community grants are offered only to nonprofit organizations and there are limitations on how the money can be used.

"We had to look real hard this year," she said. "It was hard to choose with the economy, and a lot of people are out of work. So, we looked at organizations that help children. It's a first time for us to give to the Special Olympics, so I'm excited about that."

Web posted on Thursday, July 29, 2010

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