Watch Walmart's new ad with employees' emotional rendition of 'Lean on Me'

The uplifting ad shows photos and videos of neighbors helping each other during the coronavirus pandemic.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Alyssa Newcomb

Walmart released an emotional ad featuring the voices of its workers around the U.S. to lift people's spirits during the coronavirus pandemic.

The commercial, called "Walmart Neighbors," begins with a message: "To America, from our associates."

After that, Walmart employees — from Pennsylvania to Alabama — had their moment in the spotlight. Each one was filmed singing a few lines from Bill Withers' 1972 classic "Lean on Me." The song choice is especially poignant since Withers died last week at the age of 81.

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Throughout the one-minute ad, there are photos and videos of neighbors helping each other, people greeting each other through windows and messages of hope.

One image showed a sign that read: "This too shall pass. One day at a time."

The ad ended with another message: "Here for you."

Released on YouTube Saturday, the ad draws its inspiration from one shared two weeks ago by the Facebook account of a Walmart store in Paris, Illinois.

The video was captioned, "A little spark of light from one of our store’s associates (and their friends) to shine during a difficult time." It's received 17,000 views and more than 300 shares.

Walmart stores have remained open during the coronavirus outbreak because the retailer is considered an essential business. The company has taken precautions to reduce spread of the virus, including installing sneeze shields at pharmacies and cutting its hours.

Most recently, Walmart announced it would limit the number of shoppers in a given store to only five people per 1,000 square feet. And in many locations next week, markers will be put down to encourage one-way foot traffic, an effort to reduce close contact among customers.

Editor's note: Walmart is a sponsor of TODAY.