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Deadline Nears to Help Retailer Make Wishes Come True

American Forces Press Service

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., Oct. 30, 2008 – The deadline is tomorrow for servicemembers to apply for the Sears “Heroes at Home Wish Registry.”

In consultation with the Defense Department, Sears has expanded the popular program, enabling America to fulfill holiday wishes for up to 20,000 servicemembers and their families.

Military personnel can log on to www.sears.com/wish through tomorrow to apply for the Wish Registry. Between Nov. 2 and Dec. 25, Sears will invite America to help fulfill their wishes with a Sears gift card.

“Since 1916, Sears has been committed to America’s servicemen and women with programs to employ veterans, reserve pay differential and benefits for full-time associates called up for active duty,” said Don Hamblen, chief marketing officer for the retailer. “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 provide a direct ‘thank you’ to members of the military.”

The first 20,000 servicemembers who apply and can be validated with an active duty military status can become part of the Wish Registry. Active service personnel who participate 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, officials said.

Sears officials said they created the Wish Registry to thank servicemembers and their families at home and abroad for their service. Sears worked with the United Service Organizations to help communicate the Wish Registry to military members, and will make a $250,000 donation to support USO programs and services around the world.

“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,” said Bill Kiss, divisional vice president of program development for Sears Holdings Corporations. “It’s an extremely powerful program, with the potential to produce extremely meaningful results.”

The program starts with the Sears family, not just their customers, officials said, noting that 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 servicemembers, veterans and their families through joint efforts with various nonprofit organizations. Sears Holdings has spearheaded nationwide fundraising efforts in the spring and holiday seasons over the past year, officials said, and has raised more than $5 million through the Heroes at Home program for Rebuilding Together, a nonprofit organization that rehabilitates homes.

(From a Sears news release.)

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