The WVU Foundation received a $100,000 grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation Associate Choice Program. The money will be split evenly among five university organizations and programs that positively impact the community and state as a whole.

    Through the Associate Choice Program, the Wal-Mart Foundation allows employees of both Walmart and Sam’s Club to vote for a local, nonprofit organization of their choosing from anywhere within their state. The program, designed to give back to local communities, allows for employees throughout the state to specifically decide where they would like to see an impact made.

    The five WVU organizations receiving funds from the Walmart Associate Choice Program are:

    WVU Children’s Hospital provides specialty maternal, infant and pediatric care for the state of West Virginia and the surrounding region. The hospital primarily provides care to high-risk mothers, premature infants and children with life-threatening conditions through adolescence to adulthood.

    WVU Extension’s Energy Express is designed to provide learning opportunities and nutrition during the summer months, when children are most at risk. Each summer nearly 3,000 West Virginia children from low-income families benefit from Energy Express, which maintains a presence at 79 sites throughout 41 counties.

    “The Rack” at WVU recognizes that poverty can hide anywhere, including college campuses. With increased enrollment in higher education, many students, particularly students with families, are now finding it more difficult to meet the rising cost of tuition, books, rent and utilities, while still having enough money for regular meals. Through WVU Student Organizations Services, the newly created student food bank has already begun to make an impact on the university’s community.

    Health Sciences and Technology Academy (HSTA) at WVU shepherds talented minority and underrepresented students through pre-college, college and graduate training in health science programs. HSTA helps open doors, empower and encourage the pursuit of education and careers in the health sciences field. HSTA is present throughout 26 West Virginia counties.

    WVU School of Dentistry Oral Health Lessons To-Go hopes to improve the oral health of children throughout the state of West Virginia. Oral Health Lessons To-Go is a program for grades K-3 that empowers children, families and teachers with knowledge and tools to help fight tooth decay. Children participate in a school assembly on oral health and take home a backpack loaded with several items necessary for adequate dental hygiene.