HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., Oct. 24 // PRNewswire // -- As part of its unwavering commitment to the men, women and families of the U.S. armed forces, Sears Holdings Corporation is pleased to extend the deadline of the Heroes at Home Wish Registry(sm) to Friday, October 31 and encourages all active military personnel to apply. In consultation with the U.S. Department of Defense, Sears is pleased to extend the popular program that enables America to fulfill wishes for up to 20,000 deserving military families and personnel this holiday season. Through this offering, Sears is continuing its long-standing tradition of support of the military whose sacrifices deserve much recognition.
The first 20,000 service members who apply and can be validated with an active duty military status can become part of the Wish Registry. Active service personnel who participate in the Heroes at Home Wish Registry will remain anonymous to ensure compliance with the military's standards of conduct regulations. Ultimately, all 20,000 registrants will be granted Sears gift cards in equal amounts, which will be determined based on the number of entries and donations. The gift card denominations will not exceed $550.
"Since 1916, Sears has been committed to America's service men and women with programs to employ veterans and reserve pay differential and benefits for full-time associates called up for active duty," said Don Hamblen, Chief Marketing Officer, Sears. "Last year, Sears launched Heroes at Home to help military personnel renovate and rebuild their homes. Today, we are pleased to expand the Heroes at Home Wish Registry to incorporate elements to make the wishes of our military come true for the holidays and enable our customers to provide a direct 'thank you' to members of the military."
Sears created the Wish Registry specifically to help identify heroes both domestically and overseas to show thanks for their service this holiday season. Sears partnered with the USO to help communicate the Wish Registry to military members, and will be making a $250,000 donation to support USO programs and services around the world. Military personnel can log on to http://www.sears.com/wish through October 31 to apply for the Wish Registry. Between November 2 and December 25, 2008, Sears will invite America to help fulfill their wishes with a Sears Gift Card.
Bill Kiss, Divisional Vice President Program Development said, "The Heroes at Home Wish Registry allows us to connect with the military community on a very personal level, and gives Americans the opportunity to fulfill their wishes. It's an extremely powerful program, with the potential to produce extremely meaningful results."
The Heroes at Home Wish Registry, one of Sears Holdings Corporations' multiple programs supporting the military and their families, enables Sears' customers to thank America's military heroes for the sacrifices they make for our country. However, the program starts with the Sears family, not just their customers. The first donations the registry received were from Sears associates, senior executives, and vendors featured at the retailer.
The Heroes at Home program also provides support to service members, veterans and their families through joint efforts with various nonprofit organizations, including Rebuilding Together, Inc. Sears Holdings has spearheaded nationwide fundraising efforts in the spring and holiday seasons over the past year and has raised more than $5 million through the Heroes at Home program for Rebuilding Together.
Sears has actively supported this country's servicemen and women with pride and respect since the company was founded more than a century ago. Each year Sears matches reservists pay and benefits while they are serving. In 2005, Sears Holdings received the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, which publicly recognizes American employers who provide exceptional support to their employees who voluntarily serve the nation in the National Guard and Reserve. In 2006, Sears Holdings also was honored with the Military Officers Association of America's Distinguished Service Award, in recognition of the company's support of associates in the Guard and Reserve and military families nationwide.
To find out more about the Heroes at Home program, or to refer a military family or veteran to the home renovation program through Rebuilding Together, visit http://www.sears.com or call 1-800-473-4229. Sears Holdings' ongoing commitment to assisting troops and their families includes several recruiting and employment programs, as well as a military pay differential to Sears associates employed (full time) who are reservists serving on active duty. Reservists who are employed full-time are allowed to continue participating in life insurance, medical and dental programs.
Sears Holdings Corporation (Nasdaq: SHLD) is the nation's fourth largest broadline retailer with over $50 billion in annual revenues and approximately 3,800 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada. Sears Holdings is the leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, home electronics and automotive repair and maintenance. Key proprietary brands include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, and a broad apparel offering, including such well-known labels as Lands' End, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as the Apostrophe and Covington brands. It also has Martha Stewart Everyday products, which are offered exclusively in the U.S. by Kmart and in Canada by Sears Canada. The company is the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 13 million service calls made annually. For more information, visit Sears Holdings' website at http://www.searsholdings.com.
Rebuilding Together is the nation's largest nonprofit organization working to preserve homeownership and revitalize neighborhoods by providing free home repair and modification services to those in need. With the help of everyday citizen volunteers, skilled trades people, the support of local business and major corporate partners, Rebuilding Together affiliates in America's largest cities and smallest towns make life considerably better for thousands of low-income homeowners. Beyond its core home repair work, Rebuilding Together also rehabilitates community centers and conducts home modification and repair programs that focus on aging in place. In addition, Rebuilding Together has programs dedicated to energy efficiency, veteran's housing, and disaster recovery and reconstruction. Rebuilding Together is currently celebrating 20 years as a national organization and the completion of over 100,000 homes thanks to the efforts of more than 200 affiliates nationwide. For more information, visit http://www.RebuildingTogether.org.
The USO (United Service Organizations) provides morale, welfare and recreational services to U.S. military personnel and their families. The USO is a nonprofit, charitable organization, relying on the generosity of the American people to support its programs and services. The USO is supported by individual donors, Worldwide Strategic Partners and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). For more information, please visit our Web site at http://www.uso.org.
SOURCE Sears Holdings Corporation