Area hospitals celebrate 35th anniversary of partnership

·2 min read

Jun. 17—Walmart and Sam's Club this week celebrated their 35th anniversary working with area Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, including Freeman Health System in Joplin and CoxHealth in Springfield.

Walmart and Sam's Club customers throughout Southwest Missouri can support local kids through a campaign launching this week in honor of that anniversary. Through July 10, customers can donate at the register or online to raise funds to meet the needs of sick and injured children in the region.

Since the start of the campaign, Walmart and Sam's Club associates have raised more than $1 billion to help children's hospitals across North America. The donations made at Walmart and Sam's Club stores around the region benefit local children through Children's Miracle Network Hospitals at Freeman Health System in Joplin and CoxHealth hospitals based in Lamar, Monett, Branson and Springfield.

According to Freeman officials, the partnership raised $164,184 in 2021 alone.

"We're grateful to Sam's Club and Walmart for making the world a better place to live," said Paula F. Baker, Freeman president and CEO, in a statement. "Generous business partners and donors alike make it possible for children with medical needs to receive the care they need. That can include help with medical equipment and prescriptions not covered by insurance, out-of-town travel to see specialists and service dogs for children with a wide variety of conditions."

"We are thrilled about our 35-year partnership with Walmart and Sam's Club," said Tim Siebert, executive director at Children's Miracle Network Hospitals at CoxHealth, in a statement. "It is the generosity of Walmart and Sam's Club customers that helps meet the needs of local children suffering from illnesses and injuries. Every dollar counts."

The Sam's Club in Joplin raised more than $61,000 last year, making it the top in the nation.

"We do this 100% for the kids," said Rob Thomas, club manager for the Joplin Sam's Club store, in a statement. "Every kid deserves a chance to be a kid. We never wait until it affects us to make a difference. Seeing them smile and show us everything is going to be okay is the only motivation we need."