I met Dina and Joanne under the awning of Walton’s 5&10 last week.
Together, Dina and her daughter Joanne had driven to Bentonville, Arkansas, “on their own dime” to experience the wonder of Associate Week and the Shareholders Meeting. They made the journey because visiting Walton’s 5&10 was on Dina’s bucket list.
Dina said that someone had told her she wouldn’t have a good time if she wasn’t an associate selected by the store to represent them at the meeting. Dina didn’t listen. She didn’t take this journey off her bucket list. She came anyway – and was having the time of her life.
“Let’s give you a real good story to bring back,“ I offered. And so Dina and her daughter got a glimpse of The Walmart World Room during the space’s rare down time. It’s a unique room above Walton’s Five and Dime where special events take place with views of the Bentonville Square.
A meeting of the Walmart World magazine team was in session one floor below us. And so, as we made our way to the second floor, Dina remarked how her visit was even better than she expected. Interrupting the meeting, I introduced Dina to the team. The team, of course, was delighted to meet her. Tears came to Dina’s eyes as she told them how being in Bentonville and part of Shareholders was “so wonderful, it’s like a dream.” Turning her head, she apologized for being so sentimental. But no apology was needed; we’ve all been there before.
Amanda Recalls Hurricane Katrina
Down in the gallery, Amanda from New Orleans watched the video of how Walmart responded to Hurricane Katrina. “Walmart was there for me,” she said. “I lost everything and Walmart helped me through it, every step of the way. I know people often say we’re like a big family, but we really are.” And then the tears welled up in her eyes and she remarked how much it all meant to her.
A Special Bond
There’s something about our company that moves even the most stoic among us. It’s always been there and is as strong as ever. It’s part of our company’s DNA. That something is a bond we all feel, belonging to and caring for something more than just our selves, knowing that we’re not alone in this world and that Walmart makes a difference in our own lives and in the lives of others.