Skip to main content

Walmart Associate Donates $8,405 to Honor Mother’s Legacy

Just when we think the world may be too crazy to handle, a shining light emerges to redeem hope in humanity.

The annual Walmart fundraising campaign to support CMN hospitals is currently active; it’s the first national fundraiser to proceed during the originally scheduled time-frame among COVID-19 reschedules. The managers and associates of Walmart stores are committed to keeping a clean and safe space for their customers as they encourage donations at the register.

In addition to asking their guests to support Children’s Hospital Colorado at checkout, each store has come up with fun and unique ways to raise additional funds through employee giving. Managers and associates volunteer to dye their hair, get pied in the face, sit duct-taped to a chair – all in the name of supporting Children’s Colorado.

Vanessa signs the giant display check for her generous gift.

One donation, however, stands out from the rest.

Vanessa Darnell is an associate at Walmart #1384 in La Junta, Colorado. She has been an advocate for the CMN campaign ever since she began her career with Walmart. In the first week of the campaign, Vanessa connected with store manager Jonna to make a personal donation of $8,405.00. This gift was given to honor her mother, Debra Vigil, who passed in April of this year after a long and hard-fought battle with stage three gastric cancer.

To recognize Vanessa’s phenomenally generous gift, Jonna put together a recognition gathering at the store’s garden center. Dozens of associates, along with Walmart Market Manager Marc and a few members of Vanessa’s family, stood six feet apart as Jonna shared words that Vanessa had written about her kind, giving, and philanthropic mother.

“My mom had a big heart for children. She always believed her purpose was to be a mom. Not just to her own kids, but to any in need. She was heavily involved with church and helping the kids and putting on Christmas programs with them.”

The connection to the cause became even more powerful for the family. “In 2007 she gained her first granddaughter, Gracie May, who was later diagnosed in 2010 with Rett Syndrome. Gracie continues to be evaluated at Children’s Hospital.” says Vanessa. She knew that supporting this cause celebrates her mother’s passion and legacy. “I know she would still want to help with my niece and if she can continue to help any child in need, she would jump on it. So my family will continue in her honor to do as she would.”

Socially-distant associates of La Junta Walmart as they celebrated Vanessa’s gift and honored Debra’s legacy.

Vanessa’s donation is a large portion of the store’s $15,532.35 total, which puts the La Junta location the top fundraising store in the market. All funds raised by #1384 will directly benefit Children’s Hospital Colorado, specifically to the Colorado Springs location as the closest campus loc ation to the store.

Children’s Colorado is proud to partner with Walmart on such a large and passionate campaign each year. This gift is so uniquely special, and the hospital is phenomenally grateful for people like Vanessa who give so generously to honor the philanthropic legacies of their lives.