No sooner had Community Lodgings Executive Director Bonnie Baxley been presented a check for $30,000 from Walmart store manager William Hunsucker, she asked for more.
“Do you have any tents?” she queried as those gathered Aug. 8 at the Community Lodgings Fifer Family Learning Center laughed. “We just found out that we need one more tent for an upcoming event and everyone knows I'm not shy about letting people know what we need.”
Baxley, along with several board members and participants in the nonprofit's youth programs, gathered as Hunsucker, manager of the Kings Crossing Walmart at 6303 Richmond Highway, presented the check to Community Lodgings on behalf of the Walmart Foundation's Virginia State Giving Program.
“We are a company that operates globally but gives back locally,” Hunsucker said.
The funds will be used to support the after-school programs of Community Lodgings for homeless and low-income middle and high school students.
“Participation in our high school programs had dropped,” Baxley said. “But after getting our funding in April, we have gone from six to 16 participants and expect that to expand once our new fall and winter programs begin.”
The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Washington also recently donated $25,000 to support the high school afterschool program at Community Lodgings, a nonprofit dedicated to lifting families from homelessness and instability to independence and self-sufficiency.
The organization provides housing and services for 25 homeless families per year and works with over 90 homeless and low-income children and their parents at the Fifer Family Learning Center.
“The purpose of the high school program is to get kids off the streets, increase their academic achievement and decrease at-risk behavior,” Baxley said. “This generous donation from Walmart will allow us to help so many young teens in our community get the head start they need for a better future.”
For more information on Community Lodgings, visit www.communitylodgings.org.