Sears Operation Wish Invites Canadians to Salute Our Troops and their Families

Special In-Store Military Shopping Day Discount on December 15

BURNABY, BC, Dec. 15, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadian military personnel and their families live and work in communities across the country, with many soldiers facing unique challenges raising a family while serving in the Canadian Armed Forces.  Sears Canada, through its 8th annual Operation Wish, invites Canadians to show their support for their military friends and neighbours.

Operation Wish 2013 was officially launched today by Sears Canada, in partnership with the Mainland BC Military Family Resource Centre (BCMFRC), the Canadian Association of Military Family Resource Centres (MFRC) and the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS).  Operation Wish, which began in 2006 when Canadian Forces personnel stationed overseas were given Sears Wish Books to purchase Christmas gifts for their families back home, is a national celebration of military personnel and their families.

"Having served in the military and away from home on extended periods of time, I know first-hand what a relief it can be to know that someone is helping to take care of your family and looking out for their well-being," said Doug Campbell, President & CEO of Sears Canada, himself a former US Marine.  "We are very proud to provide a vehicle, through Operation Wish, to help Canadians show their support for our military and their families across the country. While the program looks a bit different each year, the goal is always the same - to build a bridge between the local military base and the community by providing a way we, as a community, can show our support for our military friends and neighbours."

Operation Wish events were held today in communities near military bases across the country where Sears announced an initiative in support of children of active military personnel.  Sears is making a $10,000 donation to the newly formed Canadian Association of Military Family Resource Centres (MFRCs).  Since Operation Wish's inception in 2006, Sears has donated over $100,000 to national military family support programs.

Sears also introduced an additional fundraising initiative to support the important work done by every MFRC across Canada.  Each year, Sears sells a special, limited edition plush with $2 from the sale of each plush toy directed to Sears Canada Charitable Foundation youth development programs.  A percentage of money from sales of Nate, the 2013 plush bear, will be donated to the Canadian Association of MFRCs for their youth programs.

The community was also invited to the Sears store at Brentwood Town Centre to send well-wishes to the military by signing a life-size cutout of the Nate bear.  The cut-out, once filled with signatures, will be posted to the Mainland BC MFRC Facebook page as a symbol of the community's support.

"Being in the military, or part of a military family, is not always easy," says Louise Smith, Executive Director, Mainland BC MFRC. "It's not uncommon for military families in BC to have a loved one deployed far away from home over the Holiday season. Support from the community, like signing this huge Sears bear cut-out, means a great deal to military personnel and their families."

Smith adds that financial support from the sale of Nate the bear is also very much appreciated by the local MFRC to run important support programs for military members and their families.  Sunday, December 15, 2013 is also Military Family Shopping Day at Sears Canada, in which active Canadian military personnel, their families and veterans receive 15% off most in-store purchases at Sears department stores, Sears Home stores and Sears Hometown stores.

The Mainland BC MFRC is available to the families of 200 Regular Force and 1600 Reserve Force members who live anywhere in Mainland BC. Often the needs of Regular and Reserve Force military families can be different. Therefore, the MFRC provides programming and services that meet a wide range of needs.

"It's possible only because of the great support we get from the community," added Smith. "We have approximately 100 volunteers who give of their own time to help us run our programs. Community support such as this makes this a wonderful place to call home."

About Sears Canada

Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network that includes 181 corporate stores, 241 Hometown stores, over 1,400 catalogue and online merchandise pick-up locations, 101 Sears Travel offices and nationwide repair and service network.  The Company also publishes Canada's most extensive general merchandise catalogue and offers shopping online at www.sears.ca


SOURCE Sears Canada Inc.

For further information:

Patricia Robitaille
patricia@prstrategesinc.ca
Cell: 604-230-0530

Alicia Richler
arichle@sears.ca
416-941-4423