Aaron Rents Launches Largest Community Outreach Effort During National Manager's Meeting in Nation's Capitol

Aaron's Makes Dreams Come True for U.S. Veterans and Families

Atlanta, /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Aaron Rents, Inc. (NYSE: RNT), the nation's leader in the sales and lease ownership, specialty retailing and rental of residential and office furniture, consumer electronics and home appliances and accessories, hosts its largest Company-wide community outreach mission to date on April 14th in Washington D.C. Two thousand Aaron's associates will invest 5,600 hours and $500,000 in product and service donations. Aaron's will partner with The Armed Forces Foundation during three of the seven outreach projects taking place throughout the day.

"It was fortuitous that at last year's annual meeting, we asked how many Aaron's associates were veterans, and were proud to learn of the large number of Armed Forces veterans we have as part of our Company," said Robert C. Loudermilk, Jr., Aaron's President and Chief Executive Officer. "The work ethic, dedication and commitment to making the community a better place is part of the DNA of our Company. This attitude of service certainly represents the mindset of our associates who are veterans and the many men, women and their families currently serving as active members of our military."

Challenged 10 years ago by the Company's founder, R. Charles Loudermilk, Sr., Aaron's executives created ACORP, Aaron's Community Outreach Program. Through ACORP, Aaron's associates have donated thousands of hours of associate time to community service projects in more than 1,600 cities across the U.S. and $6.7 million in goods and services donations.

"As a Company philosophy, Aaron's made a commitment a decade ago to give back to each and every community where we're located in order to make our cities a better place to live," said R. Charles Loudermilk, Sr., Chairman, Aaron's. "During this year's three-day National Manager's Meeting in Washington D.C., 2,000 of our associates choose to spend a full day in a Company-wide community outreach effort. This expression of giving exemplifies the caliber of associates that are the strength of this Company."

"As the largest community outreach effort Aaron's has committed to in a single day, the Company is proud that we can invest in the lives of veterans and their families who reside or are recovering in our nation's capitol," said Ken Butler, Chief Operating Officer, Aaron's. "Our associates will return to their own communities energized and knowing that they made the dreams of many veterans and their families come true."

"When 2,000 Aaron's associates, senior executives and a host of corporate and foundation partners converge on Washington D.C. in April to invest their time, heart and enthusiasm into making the lives of so many veterans and their families better, the impact will be powerful, immediate and have a long-term impression," said Patricia Driscoll, President, Armed Forces Foundation. "Often soldiers are taken care of but their families might become overlooked. The Armed Forces Foundation supports military families in their time of greatest need."

"The men and women who choose to serve in our nation's military deserve our full support as they return from active duty," said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA). "Aaron's has built a company-wide program to give back to local communities - it's vividly apparent that this corporate value helps contribute to their continued success."

"Our military men and women make tremendous sacrifices every day for freedom and democracy," said Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). "I'm pleased Aaron's is taking the initiative to give back to a community that deserves our fullest support. I applaud Aaron's leadership and philanthropy."

Aaron's 2009 Washington D.C. Community Outreach Events

  1. Bethesda Naval Medical Center:

    8901 Rockville Pike; Bethesda, MD 20889

    9:00 a.m. until 1 p.m.: For generations, the Bethesda Naval Medical Center has been a trusted source of military medicine for uniformed service members and their families. It is one of the nation's largest and most renowned military medical centers, best known for its history of providing care to war heroes and presidents alike for the past 65 years. In order to create an atmosphere that fosters independent living, Aaron's associates, executives and corporate and foundation partners will outfit four rooms with donated products including laptops, reclining chairs, and specially designed appliances that make cooking and meal preparation easier for soldiers who may have physical limitations and challenges. A new gaming room will help soldiers with hand-eye coordination found to be an important part of therapy. The donated products and modified appliances help improve the lives of our soldiers and their families during their recovery process.


  2. The Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center:

    Project completed by Aaron's associates on April 4, 2009

    The Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center, located in Richmond, Virginia, is a 399-bed facility offering primary, secondary, and tertiary health care in medicine, surgery, neurology, rehabilitation medicine, intermediate care, acute and sustaining spinal cord injury, skilled nursing home care, and palliative care. Aaron's associates living in the Richmond area completed painting and outfitting four rooms earlier in April with donated products.


  3. National Mall:

    15th Street at Constitution Avenue, NW; Washington, D.C. 20004

    9:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.: Aaron's volunteers will work with the National Park Service to provide landscaping services. Aaron's associates will enhance the National Mall and the beautiful and scenic greenspace available to the public. Benches will be painted along the reflecting pool between the Washington Memorial and the Capitol, flowers and plants will be added and park visitors will enjoy the restful stops along the National Mall as they visit national monuments.


  4. Shoes That Fit at Anne Beers Elementary:

    3600 Alabama Avenue; Washington, D.C. 20020

    9:00 a.m. until noon: Shoes That Fit is a program designed to provide children with new shoes so that they can attend school in comfort and with dignity. Aaron's will provide a brand new pair of shoes to 350 children and 70 adults at Anne Beers Elementary school. The children will enjoy meeting former Atlanta Falcons and Buffalo Bills Player, Keion Carpenter with Carpenter's House and other NFL Friends plus Scorpio Brown and other Baltimore Arena Football Players. Always wagging his tail for smiles, Aaron's Official Mascot, Lucky Dog, will be there as well. For this exciting event, the "While You Were Out Group" (WYWO) Shoes That Fit will partner with the local Washington D.C. and Baltimore shoe stores to make sure every child receives a new pair of shoes.


  5. Walter Reed Appreciation Day at the Fisher House:

    6900 Georgia Avenue NW; Washington, D.C. 20307

    9:00 a.m. until 1 p.m.: The Fisher House at Walter Reed is a unique residence that supports some of America's military families in their time of need. The program recognizes the special sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and the hardships of military service by meeting a humanitarian need beyond that normally provided by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. Aaron's volunteers will perform site improvements in order to preserve and enhance green space for the families residing in the Fisher House including spreading mulch in the playground area, weather proofing and reassembling the playhouse and general landscaping.


  6. Walter Reed Appreciation Day at the Mologne House:

    6900 Georgia Avenue NW, Bldg. 20; Washington, D.C. 20307

    9:00 a.m. until 1 p.m.: The Mologne House provides a short-term lodging facility for military family members and retirees visiting Walter Reed and Washington. During the Walter Reed Appreciation Day, NASCAR driver, David Reutimann, Nationwide driver, Ken Butler, III (KBIII), as well as MLB player, Jesus Flores of the Washington Nationals, will be on-site signing autographs. Aaron's corporate partner, Sprint, will provide "call anywhere" phone kiosks for the families. Returning soldiers recovering at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center will enjoy food, fun and games. Soldiers and their families can take photos with special guests, Aaron's Official Mascot, Lucky Dog, and the #00 Aaron's Dream Machine Showcar.


  7. Wounded Warriors 5K Walk/Run:

    Gaylord National at 201 Waterfront Street National Harbor; MD 20745

    8:30 a.m. until noon: In honor of the incredible sacrifices made by the brave men and women in all branches of the United States Military, Aaron's will proudly host its first ever Wounded Warrior 5K to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, a national organization supporting wounded veterans. Wounded veterans, Aaron's associates and invited guests with a patriotic spirit are participating as competitive or leisure walkers or runners. Wounded veterans will serve as the honored leaders of the 5K Walk/Run at the Start Line, along with Dominique Dawes, former Olympic Gold Medalist and Washington D.C. resident, who will serve as the Honorary Athlete of the 5K Walk/Run. In addition to the 5K Walk/Run, Aaron's will contribute $10,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project. Following this event, a one month in-store promotion will continue Aaron's efforts to raise money and create awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project.

About Aaron Rents, Inc.:

Aaron Rents, Inc. (NYSE: RNT and RNT.A), the nation's leader in the sales and lease ownership, specialty retailing and rental of residential and office furniture, consumer electronics and home appliances and accessories has more than 1,575 Company-operated and franchised stores in 48 states and Canada. Founded in 1955 by entrepreneur R. Charles Loudermilk, Sr. and headquartered in Atlanta, Aaron's has been publicly traded since 1982.

About the Armed Forces Foundation:

The Armed Forces Foundation (AFF) was established in 2001 as a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization and is a part of the U.S. Department of Defense's America Supports You Program. AFF supports active-duty and retired personnel, National Guard, Reserve components and military families during their time of greatest need. With 14 programs, The Armed Forces Foundation assists with food, rent, hotel rooms for families visiting a wounded loved one, holiday gifts for military children, among others. The Armed Forces Foundation has been recognized by The White House, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Energy, the Department of Education, and other nonprofits for its dedication and support of America's Service Members.

About Wounded Warrior Project:

Wounded Warrior Project is a non-profit organization whose mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors. WWP serves to raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, to help severely injured service members aid and assist each other and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.

SOURCE Aaron Rents, Inc.

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