During Walmart’s Senior Shopping Hours, Every Customer is a VIP

Apr. 14, 2020
 
Sitting in the car on a rainy Tuesday morning outside of Walmart Store 5260 in Rogers, Arkansas, Dora Castaneda was waiting for senior shopping hours to start – and she wasn’t feeling inspired.
 
As the coronavirus pandemic continues impacting daily life in America, senior citizens are feeling the changes acutely. Mrs. Castaneda was deeply concerned about the actions of some of the nation’s youth, as the news cycle homed in on students in Florida, partying in close quarters with seemingly no thought to who else they may impact.
 
“The day before I went to Walmart, I was listening to the news,” Mrs. Castaneda said. “And I saw all these young people traveling, and it truly made me sad, because I felt as though they didn’t care I was in danger.” But when the clock struck 6:00 a.m., things changed drastically.
 
"A young person came out to my car and greeted me happily," Mrs. Castaneda said.  “And I realized, ‘oh my gosh, they’re doing this genuinely – they’re acting out of love.’"
 
Inside the store, associates were taking care to keep things clean as they continued serving customers. 
Mrs. Castaneda said her Walmart experience offered a shift in perspective, and gave her an opportunity to continue being safely self-sufficient in the midst of a difficult time.
 
“That morning, I needed to go get some personal things, and I had the opportunity to do it safely,” Mrs. Castaneda said. “But to be honest, I wasn’t expecting the service I got. I went in and I felt safe, protected and respected.”
 
As Walmart associates across the country continue to go to work, people like Mrs. Castaneda want them to know that they’re making a tangible difference in their communities.
 
“If I could say something to those associates, I would want them to know that they’re doing more than packing, cleaning and disinfecting — they’re showing that they care,” Mrs. Castaneda said. “I feel like they looked at everyone in that store as their grandparent that morning, and I believe it touched so many hearts. It gave us all hope.” 
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