SALT LAKE CITY — In 2017, nearly 400 lives were saved in the U.S. thanks to the presence of smoke alarms, according to Rich Woodruff.
The communications and marketing director for the Utah and Nevada regions of the American Red Cross said last year his organization installed more than 6,000 smoke alarms in Utah.
"It's the generosity of donors like the Walmart Foundation that helps make this lifesaving work possible," Woodruff said as the corporation presented the American Red Cross and six other local nonprofits with more than $280,000 in grants as part of its Day of Giving event Thursday.
"It's the education combined with smoke alarms that cuts the risk, and so the money from Walmart helps to pay for it," he said.
Another recipient of Walmart's donations helps feed families in need throughout Utah.
Last year, Utah Food Bank distributed 39 million pounds of food throughout the state, in part thanks to Walmart, said Ginette Bott, the nonprofit's chief development officer.
"They donate to us three things we need most: food, time and money," she said.
Because of the donation, Utah Food Bank could purchase an additional truck for its Grocery Rescue program, a partnership through which the bank distributes food close to its expiration date donated by grocery stores, Bott said.
The partnership between Walmart and the food bank isn't a new one. In addition to donations, Walmart employees volunteer with the food bank, she added.
"Walmart has donated 41 million pounds of food over the years," Bott said. "It's just an awesome partnership."
Daneen Adams, assistant executive director of Open Doors — formerly Family Connection Center — in Davis County receives food from the Utah Food Bank to distribute within its community.Comment on this story
On Thursday, Open Doors received more than $44,000 from Walmart.
"If it wasn't for Walmart, we'd still be driving a truck that had over 300,000 miles, and our driver would get in every morning and say: 'Oh my gosh, I said a prayer and it came through. She started,'" Adams said.
Other nonprofits that benefited during Walmart's Day of Giving include the Agape Community Center, Friends of Switchpoint Inc., South Valley Services to End Family Violence and Youth Futures.
"We were so lucky," Adams said.