Walmart honors employee with donation to animal care center

JACKSON, Tenn. — The Jackson Animal Care Center has received a donation from a local Walmart.

Walmart donated over $500 worth of food to the center in honor of Matthew Hill, a store employee and animal care center volunteer who died in June, according to a news release from the City of Jackson.

“If one person is hurting, we all hurt,” said Walmart south’s People Lead Gena Twyman. “So in his honor, we felt like that was the best thing we could do to honor him even though he hadn’t worked here long.”

The city says Hill had been volunteering at the center since the summer of 2020, and say he had been working to complete hours for the Tennessee Promise.

But officials with the animal care center, as well as family, say Hill demonstrated a great love and passion for animals, and add that he had been working with animals for 15 years.

“It’s rare that we come across community members that care about our program as much as we do as employees,” said Jackson Animal Care Center Director Whitney Owen. “And it’s very uplifting. It is very encouraging even in hard times like this with the situation we never want to encounter.”

“He likes animals more than people,” said Heather Hill, Matthew Hill’s mother. “He said that volunteering should be something you shouldn’t have that much fun doing.”

According to the release, Hill’s family had asked that the last paycheck go towards the center, but store employees had another idea.

“Once Walmart found out that that’s what [the family] was doing, the store manager decided to talk to the employees that Matthew worked with,” said Owen. “The employees that Matthew knew actually donated the supplies, so the family was able to keep his last check to do whatever they want to with.”

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