Thumbs up to the McAlester Walmart Supercenter for its continued work with the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Each summer the Walmart store in McAlester undertakes a variety of fundraising activities to benefit the charitable network.

Store Manager Cody Knight and Front End Coach Kathy Wall are helping lead a store team in the fundraising efforts.

Walmart visitors can help in several ways, including by allowing cashiers to round up any change they have coming following a transaction, with the money going to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Money raised by the Walmart store in McAlester will be earmarked to benefit children and their families who live within the 74501 Zip Code, Knight said.

Funds are to be earmarked to help local families with a child being treated at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa — the closest to McAlester that’s been designated as a Children’s Medical Network Hospital.

Walmart shoppers can also purchase a T-shirt for $5 that’s periodically offered for sale at a table inside the store, emblazoned with the words “I Believe in Miracles.”

Also, teams from the McAlester Police Department and the McAlester Fire Department are set to face-off at 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 18, at the Boys and Girls Club at 305 E. Chadick Ave., adjacent to Chadick Park, for what’s being billed as a Basketball Slam. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children under 12, with all proceeds to go to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Other fundraising activities are in the works as well, with the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals fundraising drive at Walmart set to extend through July 19.

“Donations made at the store/club registers go directly to the hospital serving the store/club’s community and fund critical treatment and health care services, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care,” a website devoted to the fundraising drive states.

There are 170 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in North America, with the hospitals providing more than $3.4 billion in charitable care annually. Children’s Miracle Networks Hospitals provide 32 million patient visits for 10 million children every year.

We appreciate the work of Knight, Wall and the other Walmart team members in their efforts to help members of the McAlester community when local children and their parents or caregivers need assistance the most.

Thumbs up to volunteers and other workers who helped the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma distribute more than 19,000 pounds of food that was given away Monday to local families.

Although the giveaway was set to extend from noon to 4 p.m. at the Expo Center in McAlester, all the pallets containing food were empty in less than an hour and a-half.

The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma distributed 800 boxes of chicken, with families getting 24 pounds of chicken in various cuts.

Those who did not get to participate in the Monday event can contact the Food Bank, at 2119 N. Main in McAlester, by calling 918-429-7755 for direction to the nearest pantry that can provide food assistance. The food bank also advised to watch its Facebook page at “Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma Southern Branch” for its next giveaway.

We laud both the food bank and the workers who helped load the food for participants for their efforts in reducing hunger by helping make sure free food is available to those who need it.

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