Although it wasn’t the “surprise” it was supposed to be, Owensville Walmart Supercenter associate Cindy Staggs was happy to share the Nov. 6 announcement of her being one of …
Although it wasn’t the “surprise” it was supposed to be, Owensville Walmart Supercenter associate Cindy Staggs was happy to share the Nov. 6 announcement of her being one of only 12 Act of Kindness $10,000 grant recipients in the United States with family and friends.
Staggs admitted she became suspicious of the request to invite family members to what was supposed to be a “final pitch” for a grant application she had previously completed in Walmart’s company-wide Associate Challenge and the #SparkKindness campaign.
Participating Walmart associates across the world were invited to apply for the grant which, if awarded, would go to the non-profit of their choice.
Staggs’ application named the Gasconade Manor Foundation as the recipient should she be selected.
The Walmart-wide challenge asked associates to share how they are sparking kindness in their communities using #SparkKindness and #Walmartassociatechallenge. Staggs is one of only 12 winners across the country and one of 25 across the world.
According to Walmart, and comments shared at the in-store ceremony by store manager Glenn Ely, “Staggs sparks kindness by volunteering with the Gasconade Manor Foundation where she enjoys playing bingo and taking residents on fun trips to places like the waterpark and on fishing trips.”
The ploy was to have Staggs believe she was coming to the store to make a video of their final pitch to Walmart.org in the hopes of receiving a grant in the coming weeks.
She had, however, already been selected as one of the 12 U.S. recipients of the grant.
She joked afterward that she “tried to look surprised” but figured out something was up when she was asked if she wanted family members present.
Her brother, Vince Cruse, a resident at Gasconade Manor for the past six years, was present for the award ceremony along with fellow residents Carl Epperson and Doris Fritzemeyer. Epperson and Fritzemeyer are both members of the resident’s council. Fritzemeyer is vice president of the council and Epperson is a representative.
Staggs’ family members joining her for the program were her mother, Carolyn Cruse, her daughter, Amanda Staggs, activities director for the Manor, and her sister Mary Light.
Owensville Mayor John Kamler, who is also a store employee, presented Staggs with a proclamation commemorating the award on behalf of the city.
Walmart.org represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation, according to a release from the organization.
“By leaning in where our business has unique strengths, we work to tackle key social issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change,” the company statement noted. “Walmart has stores in 27 countries, employing more than 2 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people.
“Walmart.org is helping people live better by supporting programs that work to accelerate upward job mobility for frontline workers, address hunger and make healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality, and build strong communities where Walmart operates.”