When the tornadoes hit the Mont-Bleu neighbourhood on September 21st of last year, Carmen was behind the wheel. She had no idea that a tornado was coming. Carmen has been a Walmart associate at the Plateau branch for nearly 10 years and doesn’t carry her cellphone with her at work.
 
Carmen and her familyShe held on as the powerful winds smashed the rear window of her car. “I’m thankful to still be alive,” she says. Carmen overcame a fearful drive home, where she found her husband and little dog Maggie safe and sound despite the severe impact.
 
For the following days, the three received lodging from the Red Cross. “We immediately felt safe and amongst family. The Red Cross was there the whole time.”
 
That solidarity is reflected in her workplace, at Walmart. “We’re a family. I work with three of my neighbours, who were also affected by the tornadoes. Our manager was very understanding and insisted that we take the time we needed to recover, even though we were all eager to see each other.”
 
Carmen and her colleagues are a close-knit team that actively participates in Walmart’s annual fundraiser for the Red Cross. “I’m proud to be involved. I know that Walmart helps people and organizations that need it, like we did after the tornadoes.”
 
Maggie“Walmart is always there when it’s needed. With my colleagues, we participate every year. We make donations and invite our customers to contribute.”
 
Walmart Canada will match in-store donations from March 27 to April 18, 2019, up to $820,000. The funds raised will help better prepare Canadians to face emergencies and disasters, as well as provide relief when tragedy strikes.
 
Several weeks ago, Carmen and her husband visited our recovery office in Gatineau to deliver a thank-you note to our volunteers. The couple are well acquainted with our humanitarian efforts: a few years ago, they received support from the Red Cross after a fire. “The volunteers did an incredible job,” says Carmen of her most recent experience. “I have nothing but praise for them. They really saved us from the worst.”
 
On behalf of our volunteers and the people affected by disasters that the Walmart campaign enables us to help, thank you to Carmen and her team for their dedication!
 
From now until April 18, people will be able to donate at the till of their local Walmart or online at www.redcross.ca/2019Walmart.