Walmart’s ‘3 Million Miles Driver’ donates awards dinner funds to Toys for Tots

ST. GEORGE — After hitting an iconic milestone, a Hurricane man turned down his celebratory banquet, asking his company to redirect the funds to a charity.

Rick Massey, Toys for Tots Southern Utah Area Coordinator, accepts a $750 donation from Larry Jensen, Walmart’s “3 Million Miles Driver,” Hurricane, Utah, Oct. 25, 2019 | Photo courtesy of William Fortune, St. George News

Larry Jensen is an Army veteran who has been a driver for the Walmart Distribution Center for 24 years, and as of March, he had driven 3 million miles without a single reported accident or incident. Jensen said he was able to reach this goal by paying attention and staying alert while driving.

It’s customary for Walmart to reward drivers who reach this achievement by holding an awards dinner for the driver and his family. However, Jensen told St. George News he didn’t want to be placed in the spotlight. Jensen’s coworkers called him a humble man of very few words.

Jensen declined the banquet, asking Walmart to donate the funds to Toys for Tots, adding that he wanted the money that would be used for the banquet to go to people who needed it. The company wrote a check for $750, allowing Jensen to present it to Rick Massey, the Southern Utah area coordinator for Toys for Tots, on Friday.

Jensen said he chose Toys for Tots because of the organization’s impact in Southern Utah communities and the percentage of the donation that actually goes toward the toys. For each dollar donated, 97 cents goes toward purchasing a toy while three cents is used to cover overhead costs, which might include supplies and utilities.

Residents are sure to remember the large, colorful boxes at the entrance of every store, but monetary donations are just as helpful to Toys for Tots, Jensen said. Most donated toys are for children from 6-12-years-old, leaving the organization with a gap in supplies for infants and teenagers, according to a statement from Massey. Toys for Tots uses monetary donations to close that gap.

In 2018, 12,000 toys and 8,000 books were distributed to 4,000 children in Southern Utah, with more requests expected this year, according to a press release from the Utah Dixie Detachment 1270 Marine Corps League.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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