Thanks to the generosity of Sears customers and associates, this holiday season, Sears Holdings raised more than $1.4 million for Heroes at Home(sm), a charitable program created in association with Rebuilding Together, the nation's leading non-profit organization working to preserve homeownership and neighborhoods by providing rehabilitation services free of charge to those in need. Through Heroes at Home, the retailer seeks to improve the lives of military families and veterans in need across America by making necessary repairs, improvements or modifications to their homes.
This fund-raising effort is the second spearheaded by Sears Holdings to benefit this program. From November 9 to December 28, Sears customers were able to make donations in-store and online. The monies raised include a donation of $1 million made by Sears for credit card purchases made at any of its Sears stores during that period of time.
Over the summer, Heroes at Home raised more than $1.3 million, bringing the total donation up to nearly $4 million for 2007. The monies raised through both efforts will go to help more than 300 military families across America. Families like the VanderWerts:
In order to save money Sgt. Jonathan VanderWert of New Prague, Minn. moved with his wife and nine children into a dilapidated home in need of major repair and remodeling. However, in August of 2007, their plans to fix the home were put on hold when Sgt. VanderWert was called into active duty with the Minnesota National Guard to serve a 15 month tour in Iraq. Many of the rooms in the home were missing walls and ceilings, there were exposed electrical wires, and only one bathroom was functioning. Heroes at Home refurbished the basic structure of the VanderWerts' home by finishing bathrooms and all bedrooms on the first and second floors, repaired all exposed wiring, painted bedrooms, and upgraded the kitchen. Work is still in progress and the family has been relocated to a comfortable home and will be able to come back to their renovated home in February.
"We are proud to support families through this important initiative, and we thank our customers and associates for embracing Heroes at Home so generously," said Mike McCarthy, senior vice president of Sears stores. "Our company has a longstanding commitment to the heroic men and women in the military. Through this program, we are able to help ensure that many of these heroes and their families are living in safe, warm and comfortable homes."
Sears Holdings' ongoing commitment to assisting troops and their families includes several recruiting and employment programs. The company offers a military pay differential to employees serving in the armed forces. Additionally, reservists who are employed full-time are allowed to continue participating in life insurance, medical and dental programs.
"Through its partnership with its customers, Sears has been able to make the work of Rebuilding Together come to life, preserving affordable housing for our nation's military heroes," said Gary A. Officer, President and CEO of Rebuilding Together. "Our 225 affiliates nationwide are committed to serving America's veterans who may need a helping hand to remain in their own homes in safe and comfortable conditions."
To find out more about Heroes at Home or to refer a military family or veteran to the program go to http://www.rebuildingtogether.org/ or call 1-800-473-4229.
About Sears Holdings Corporation
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/.
About Rebuilding Together
Rebuilding Together is the nation's largest nonprofit organization working to preserve homeownership and neighborhoods by providing rehabilitation services free of charge to those in need. Through the support of corporate sponsors, local businesses, and the hands-on work of a quarter-million volunteers, Rebuilding Together rehabs and repairs more than 9000 homes each year. The market value of this work is in excess of $100 million annually. In addition to its core home repair work, Rebuilding Together rehabs community centers and conducts home modification and repair programs that focus on elder home safety, energy efficiency, veterans housing, and disaster recovery and reconstruction. Rebuilding Together has grown to 225 affiliates nationwide since its founding in 1988, and is now preserving safe and healthy homes in 1800 communities nationwide. Rebuilding Together celebrated the rehabilitation of its 100,000th home in 2006. For details, see http://www.rebuildingtogether.org/ or call 1-800-REHAB-9.
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