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Washington Mutual is Mailing out Millions of Dollars in Checks to Local Schools Nationwide Through its WaMoola for Schools(R) Program; This year Washington Mutual is Distributing More Than $10 million to More Than 54,000 Local Schools

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 11, 2006--Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE:WM), one of the nation's leading banks for consumers and small businesses, is distributing more than $10 million in funding for local schools through its WaMoola for Schools(R) program and checks are literally in the mail. Altogether more than 54,000 schools nationwide will be sent checks.

"The WaMoola for Schools program is designed to be a simple and flexible way for customers to raise money for education," said Kevin Lee, Vice President of Debit Reward Programs for Washington Mutual. Under the program, customers with a Washington Mutual Debit Card can designate a school and begin by simply using their debit card when making everyday purchases. The public or private schools receive a point for each purchase made using the enrolled debit card and the accumulated points are converted to cash at the end of the year.

"In a time when education budgets are increasingly tighter than ever, every dollar counts when it comes to school funding," added Lee. "This is especially true for unrestricted funds in which schools can decide for themselves how to use the money -- whether it's for teacher training, special field trips, school supplies, playground equipment, musical instruments and more. We've found that every school has a wish list, and we want to help them fill it."

One of the advantages of the WaMoola for Schools program is that it can be used with other programs that support education. For example, shoppers can use their Washington Mutual Debit Card to purchase products with certain soup labels or box tops at stores with their own education incentives and schools benefit multifold. Schools can track their points at www.wamoolaforschools.com and can also access promotional flyers and other materials to use if they choose.

"Another great benefit of the program is that parents can designate a child's school, and grandparents, aunts and uncles can also participate. Even neighbors can select a local school and participate in the program," said Lee.

The company rolled out the WaMoola for Schools program tied to debit card usage in early 2004 and it provides customers with the option of selecting from any qualifying school in the country when they enroll in the program. Schools must earn a donation of $50 or more to receive an individual donation. Schools that earn less than $50 will have their donations allocated to organizations supporting education. For official program rules, please go to wamoolaforschools.com.

Since the WaMoola for Schools program was rolled out two years ago, it has raised more than $14 million for local schools nationwide.

Washington Mutual has a long-standing history of supporting education

The WaMoola for Schools program is one of many education programs supported by Washington Mutual. The company supports national and local education initiatives through cash grants and offers the Schools Savings(R) program, which it launched in 1923 to teach youngsters early money management skills. In addition, the company provides classroom presentations on financial literacy for ages K-12 and its employees regularly volunteer at local nonprofits and in neighborhood schools.

About Washington Mutual

With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual is a leading provider of financial services for consumers and small businesses. At December 31, 2005, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $343.12 billion. Washington Mutual currently operates more than 2,600 retail banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking and financial services offices throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's press releases are available at http://newsroom.wamu.com.

CONTACT: Washington Mutual
Mary Kelley, 206-377-6878
Missy Latham, 312-429-3059

SOURCE: Washington Mutual