An Arizona charity may have come out ahead by turning down a gift from the nation's largest retailer -- a snub that grabbed headlines and renewed interest in the labor practices of big business.
Casa Maria Free Kitchen, a Tucson-based food bank, rejected a $1,000 donation from Wal-Mart, joining a chorus of voices demanding better pay, fairer work schedules and affordable health care. The retailer had made $15,000 in donations to several charities as part of its typical outreach to community groups after opening a new store.
But the Arizona charity said Tuesday that their snub netted much more than what Wal-Mart's offered after an outpouring of local donations from those concerned about Wal-Mart's effect on union jobs and small businesses.
And yet, it may have all stemmed from a simple mistake.
On October 26, Wal-Mart opened a new outlet in Tucson, boasting 300 new jobs and pledging thousands to charities identified by local political leaders.
"We had expected Casa Maria to be at the grand opening," said Delia Garcia, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman.
But the food bank, which says it bags about 500 daily lunches for low- and no-income residents, never planned to attend.