Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital receives $25,000 from Wal-Mart

July 16, 2009

Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital has received a $25,000 contribution to assist with its “Safe at Home and on the Way” program. The grant, which was given to the nonprofit organization through the Wal-Mart Foundation’s State Giving Program (SGP), will support Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital’s efforts to enhance child safety through education and by providing safety devices, such as car seats and home safety kits, to reduce injuries at home and on the road.

“As the region’s only level 1 pediatric trauma center, we provide expert care for injured children and their families, yet we are equally committed to working with hospital and community partners to prevent such injuries,” said Susan Rzucidlo, pediatric trauma and injury prevention program manager. “This funding from the Wal-Mart Foundation will enable us to reach out to more families with education and safety devices. We are so grateful that the Wal-Mart Foundation selected our program for funding.”

The grant was presented to Rzucidlo and Children’s Hospital leaders during a check presentation ceremony on the campus of Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. During the ceremony, Abbey Dunn and David Smith talked about receiving a specially sized car seat for their daughter, Selena, who has Angelman Syndrome, a genetic disorder that involves developmental delay and physical symptoms such as epilepsy.

”Getting this special seat was a godsend for us,” Dunn said. “The seat she had before, which was appropriate for her physical size, was just a booster-type of seat, and she crawled right out of it and fell. Now the program that helped us will be able to help a lot of other families, and that’s a wonderful thing.”

Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital’s “Safe at Home and on the Way” program serves residents throughout central and south central Pennsylvania. The injury-prevention program focuses on home and child passenger safety for infants, children and those with special health-care needs.

Funding from the Wal-Mart Foundation will help to provide car seats and education for children from low-income families. Children with special needs have many issues, but safe transportation is a significant one. Child safety seats can prevent injury and save lives. The majority of home injuries can be prevented with safety devices. Young children and those with special health care needs are at greatest risk from injuries in the home simply because this is where they spend the majority of their time.

“Wal-Mart is very pleased to be supporting the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. We’re committed to helping those in need in the communities where we serve,” said Dave Fitzgerald, Wal-Mart market manager. “Through this grant, we are confident that the medical center will continue its excellent work to protect children at home and on the road so they can enjoy safer, healthier lives.”

The Wal-Mart Foundation’s SGP supports organizations that create opportunities to help people to live better. The program strives to award grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the United States.

Last year, the SGP awarded more than $475,000 to 18 local organizations. A team of local associates determine needs within each state, review eligible grant applications and make funding recommendations to the Wal-Mart Foundation.

To be considered for support, prospective grantee organizations must submit applications through SGP's online grant application. Eligible applicants must have current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in order to meet the program’s funding criteria. Additional information about the program’s funding guidelines and application process are available online at

From February 2008 through January 2009, the Wal-Mart Foundation awarded more than $423 million in cash and in-kind gifts, an $85.6 million increase over its global giving in the previous year. Wal-Mart’s FYE 2009 giving breakdown:

-- In the U.S., Wal-Mart gave more than $378 million in cash and in-kind gifts, up from $296 million in 2007.
-- In international markets, Wal-Mart gave $45.5 million in cash and in-kind gifts, up from $41 million in 2007.
-- Globally, Wal-Mart’s customers and associates gave more than $106 million through in-store giving programs that benefit local charities.
-- In total, Wal-Mart, its foundations, its customers and its associates supported communities around the globe with nearly $530 million in charitable contributions during FYE 2009.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 16, 2009