BURNABY, BC, Dec. 4, 2012 /CNW/ - While many soldiers will be home for the Holidays this year after spending a number of Christmases deployed on missions away from home, Sears Canada wants to remind Canadians that our troops and their families still need support. Today Sears launched the 7th annual Sears Operation Wish and will be selling a limited edition commemorative "Support Our Troops" Christmas ornament in support of Canada's million strong military community and families.
These specially designed ornaments go on sale today at all 118 full-line Sears stores and selected Hometown Dealer stores across Canada for $7.88 plus tax, with all proceeds donated to the Military Families Fund (MFF), administered by the Canadian Forces Personnel and Family Support Services (CFPFSS). The fund's objective is to quickly respond to unique, unforeseen, and often immediate needs of military members and their families. The MFF is largely funded by donations from Canadians. In Ottawa today, Sears is announcing a $10,000 donation to the MFF, to help kick-start the Operation Wish campaign.
Sears Operation Wish aims to connect Canadian troops and their families with the public and provide support for military personnel. The ornament, a large red bulb emblazoned with Sears 60th Anniversary and the gold signature "Support Our Troops" ribbon, will be officially unveiled today at a special ceremony at Sears, Brentwood Town Centre at 12:30 pm, at the main floor mall entrance.
Among those at the event is Captain Poulton, recently returned from Afghanistan, his wife and 9 year-old son, Family Councillor from the BC Military Family Resource Centre, and Lieutenant-Colonel Barrett from 39 Canadian Brigade. Members of the public will sign a large banner to show their support for Canadian troops. Banners will be sent to the Canadian mission in Afghanistan, to Canadian Forces Station Alert and to one of the naval ships on deployment.
"We are pleased to support the Military Families Fund which provides ongoing assistance to our troops and their families," said Lisa Phelan, Sears Store Manager, Brentwood Towne Centre. "Sears Operation Wish has always been about bringing military families closer together during the Holiday season. When we first launched this initiative in 2006, many of our troops were deployed on missions overseas, away from their families during the Holiday season. Now many of those soldiers are home, and while the kind of support they and their families require may have changed, the need for support is still there."
"It may seem like a small gesture, but when people sign the banner or purchase a Christmas ornament it means a great deal to the 1,800 Canadian Forces members and their families who live in BC," says Louise Smith, Executive Director, Mainland BC Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC). "The military in BC has a lower profile than in other parts of Canada and so gestures of support from the public are always appreciated."
The Mainland BC MFRC offers a variety of services to military families. One particular focus is assisting families before, during and after a deployment. Currently, there are approximately 50 BC families who will be separated over the holidays due to deployment, and there is a further group of families preparing for a deployment in 2013.
The Military Families Fund helps soldiers and their families with rehabilitation, education, financial assistance in the case of injury or death of a Canadian Forces member due to service, and urgent and extraordinary financial demands where the ability to provide family necessities is at risk. It aims to provide some extra help to the military community and families when and where they need it and over above the benefits they receive from National Defence. It's that little extra that can make all the difference.
To commemorate the launch of Operation Wish, Sears has designated Tuesday, December 4, 2012 Military Family Holiday Shopping Day at all Sears full-line stores, Sears Home Stores and Hometown Dealer stores. New this year, the special discount is also available online at www.sears.ca, with a mobile device at http://m.sears.ca, or with an iPad using the new Sears Catalogue App featuring the 2012 Wish Book. Military personnel and members of their immediate family will get between 15-25% off, depending on the item, on December 4.
Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network that includes 196 corporate stores, 269 hometown dealer stores, 12 home services showrooms, over 1,500 catalogue and online merchandise pick-up locations, 102 Sears Travel offices and a nationwide home maintenance, repair, and installation network. The Company also publishes Canada's most extensive general merchandise catalogue and offers shopping online at www.sears.ca.
SOURCE: Sears Canada Inc.
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