Catholic Charities USA receives $500,000 Walmart grant to enhance disaster response institute

Alexandria, Va. (September 26, 2018) – Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) has received a $500,000 grant from Walmart to enhance programs for the annual disaster response training institute.

The Applied Institute for Disaster Excellence (AIDE) is CCUSA’s week-long disaster operations program. AIDE provides cutting edge training in preparedness planning to strengthen the effectiveness of the Catholic Charities network disaster response. Program training is available to anyone regardless of organizational affiliation.

“Our network was put to the test dealing with the aftermath of the hurricanes last year,” said Sister Donna Markham OP, PhD, president and CEO of CCUSA. “And we passed the test, in large part, because of our agencies’ ability to respond immediately and professionally. By supporting AIDE, Walmart’s grant will help us train more staff to respond with skill, knowledge and speed when the next disaster occurs.”

The Walmart grant will augment AIDE in three main ways: underwriting the cost of the institute allowing participants to pay reduced fees; launching a mobile training program called “Providing Resilience through Engaged Preparedness” (PREP), and development of an online Tech Training Site, featuring web-based learning with built-in teaching aids.

“As disasters increase in their severity and frequency, it is more important than ever that we invest in a stronger resiliency system, not just respond to in the moment” said Julie Gehrki, Vice President of Walmart. “The expansion of AIDE utilizes technology in a new way to increase the capacity of local organizations to respond with speed and efficiency, preparing local leaders to support their community when it needs it the most.”

It is the mission of Walmart to create opportunities so people can live better. Whether it is through grants or through inspiring volunteer efforts of Walmart associates, Walmart is passionate about helping people live better, one community at a time. For more information about Walmart’s commitment to communities, please visit their website at

AIDE will take place December 3-7, 2018, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Please visit the event website for additional information about this year’s institute.

Poverty Awareness Month

Join us in raising awareness about the 45 million Americans living in poverty and learn how you can help make a difference.

Learn More

Patricia Cole, VP Communications


Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), a member of Caritas Internationalis, is the national office for the Catholic Charities ministry nationwide. CCUSA’s members provide help and create hope to more than 10 million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds.