HELPING OUT ... Denise Kreischer of Walmart and local Walmart Manager Greg Farmer are seated with Northwest School Principal Keith Dicke (center) amid a group of teachers. (Photo by Jannaya Andrews)
The Decatur Walmart store recently donated several $50 gift cards to teachers at Northwest Elementary School to help provide much-needed classroom supplies that teachers often pay for out of their own pocket.
Decatur Walmart Manager Greg Farmer said the company started the program four years ago after seeing teachers buying classroom supplies for students with their own money due to budget constraints in the school systems.
Farmer said in previous years the company had donated $100 gift cards, but decided this year to donate $50 gift cards and distribute them to twice as many teachers in an effort to "help as many as we can."
This year alone, Farmer said, the company will donate approximately $4.5 million to teachers throughout the country with this program, adding that Walmart provides other donations and grants to schools as well.
There were a lot of smiles and various expressions of gratitude being bandied about, but one teacher summed it up best saying, "Thank you so, so much! You have no idea how much this helps us!"