May 20, 2018
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Solon women’s shelter receives $10,000 gift from Walmart

By Alex Barber, BDN Staff

SOLON, Maine — New Hope Church Women’s Shelter was one of nine nonprofit groups selected on Tuesday to receive a $10,000 gift from Walmart.

Walmart awarded $90,000 on the ninth day of its “12 Days of Giving” Facebook campaign. Walmart will award a total of $1.5 million to 145 organizations in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, according to a press release from the Walmart Foundation.

“I’m amazed that we were ever picked out of so many in the country,” said the Rev. John “Pastor Jack” Weeks Jr. in a phone interview on Wednesday. “It’s great others have noticed that we’re trying so hard.”

Weeks said it costs about $60,000 a year to operate the shelter.

“This helps us tremendously because this is all money we have to raise,” said Weeks, adding that the shelter operates solely on donations.

“The nominations for the organizations we’re supporting today were particularly compelling because they were written by people who benefited from the services the nonprofit provides,” said Walmart Foundation senior director Julie Gehrki in a press release.

Weeks said a woman wrote of her experience at New Hope Church Women’s Shelter that changed her life.

“This is very helpful this time of year [because of heating and lighting costs],” said Weeks. “All this is going to help greatly throughout the winter months.”

Weeks said he helped open the shelter two years ago as part of the New Hope Evangelical Free Church. The shelter holds 13 people at a time and about 130 people pass through each year, he said.

Eight other organizations from eight states also received $10,000 donations on Tuesday. Eight more organizations received $20,000 donations on Wednesday.

There were 5,400 nominations from Facebook users who shared photos and short descriptions of a nonprofit’s impact in its local community, according to the press release.

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