Walmart hasn’t always made positive headlines, but they certainly are this fall.
In an effort to support and show appreciation for our nation’s veterans, Walmart has introduced an advocacy campaign, called Greenlight A Vet. Greenlight A Vet asks Americans to change their everyday doorstep light bulbs to green bulbs to show support for veterans. Much like the yellow ribbons you used to see hanging from telephone poles and fastened to the back of cars, the hopes are that neighborhood streets will be lined with green light bulbs to serve as a visible sign of support. The color green was chosen because it represents hope and renewal and aims to “greenlight” vets forward as members of the community.
Walmart is spreading the word about the campaign through prime-time TV ads as well as on their YouTube channel and through social media, with the hashtag #greenlightavet.
The No. 1 Fortune 500 company is also doing its part to tell veteran’s stories, hosting unique stories of different vets on their YouTube channel, which has more than 94,000 subscribers. The videos highlight the vet’s journey home to the U.S. and how they’re readjusting to everyday life and overcoming PTSD.
Because we’re all data-driven people, you’re probably wondering how Walmart is tracking the amount of green light bulbs illuminating around the country. While it’s not possible for Walmart to keep track of every green light bulb purchased, the company is asking everyone who does participate in the campaign to head over to www.greenlightavet.com and click a green button to show support.
As you can see from the live screenshot I took, more than 515,000 people have already supported the cause, and the total number of clicks will be displayed during the New York Veterans Day Parade in Times Square on Wednesday, November 11.
The Greenlight campaign ties into Walmart’s larger effort, the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment. Launched on Memorial Day 2013, Walmart has hired more than 100,000 veterans, promoting 9,000 of them, and has a goal of hiring a total of 250,000 vets by 2020. Additionally, Walmart has also given $ 20 million—and pledged an another $ 20 million—to programs that help to train and support veterans. Some of those programs include the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, Swords to Plowshares and the American GI Forum National Veterans Outreach Program.
Maybe you haven’t always agreed with Walmart’s business policies and activities, but it’s hard not to get behind this movement. Whether or not you participate in the greenlight campaign, be sure to thank a veteran for their service this week.
Thumbnail image via Shutterstock