Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) announced today that its subsidiary, the Community Revitalization Fund, Inc. (CRF), will invest $1.5 million in a new National Council of La Raza (NCLR) program called "From House to Home: Strengthening Families and Maintaining Homes." The funding to NCLR is part of a $6 million effort to expand the reach of the Sears American Dream Campaign (SADC), the philanthropic umbrella for all of Sears' community outreach, in Hispanic communities.
"From House to Home" was created by NCLR, the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S. aimed at serving the needs of Latinos to address the gap in services and education for new homeowners. The program focuses on three major areas: improving the long-term financial stability of low-income Latino families; generating research findings on the needs of Latino homeowners; and developing new strategies to help Latinos outfit and maintain their homes. Latino families in seven cities across the country will benefit from the initiative during the next two years.
"Hispanics are one of the fastest growing groups of homeowners and we know that these families often need help and guidance in the homebuying process," stated Janet Murguia, NCLR President and CEO. "But just as important is knowledge about how to maintain your home and potentially leverage it for building other assets and greater wealth."
"The Sears American Dream Campaign aims to reach all Americans with the help and assistance they need to build and maintain strong families, homes and communities," said Robert J. O'Leary, Sears senior vice president of public relations and government affairs. "By partnering with NCLR, we are certain that we can reach Hispanics with culturally relevant and meaningful information that will enable them to meet their goals. We want to provide Hispanic families, an important Sears customer, access to the services and information they need to live the American dream."
Latinos purchased more homes in the final quarter of 2001 than in any quarter in the preceding five years. According to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, Latinos will comprise as much as 40 percent of all new homeowners during the next 20 years. Although Latino homeownership rates have increased, they still lag well behind the national rate. Some factors contributing to the homeownership gap include lack of consumer education, lack of industry outreach to the Latino market and distrust of the mainstream housing market by Hispanic families due to complex home buying procedures. "From House to Home" will address some of those critical factors and will focus on post-purchase issues such as upkeep, maintenance and leveraging a property for financial gain.
About the Sears American Dream Campaign
The Sears American Dream Campaign is a multi-year, $100 million commitment to strengthen families, homes and communities. From helping low- and moderate-income homeowners nationwide outfit and maintain their homes to assisting victims of natural disasters to providing thousands of children with new apparel, the Sears American Dream Campaign is making a meaningful difference in communities across the nation.
About Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Sears, Roebuck and Co. ("Sears") is a leading broadline retailer providing merchandise and related services. With revenues in 2004 of $36.1 billion, Sears offers its wide range of home merchandise, apparel and automotive products and services through more than 2,400 Sears-branded and affiliated stores in the U.S. and Canada, which includes approximately 870 full-line and 1,100 specialty stores in the U.S. Sears also offers a variety of merchandise and services through sears.com, landsend.com, and specialty catalogs. Sears is the only retailer where consumers can find each of the Kenmore, Craftsman, DieHard and Lands' End brands together -- among the most trusted and preferred brands in the U.S. The company is the largest provider of product repair services with more than 14 million service calls made annually. For more information, visit Sears' Web site at http://www.sears.com/ .
SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.
CONTACT: Jessica Priego of Sears, Roebuck and Co., +1-847-286-0751
Web site: http://www.sears.com/