Retailers Show Love for Military Families

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2007 - This Valentine's season, Sears and Kmart customers will lend a hand, and a heart, to military families.

The retailers have joined forces with Fisher House, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing "a home away from home" for injured military members and their families through the "Have a Heart for Military Families" program.

Fisher House is a member of America Supports You, a Defense Department program that highlights and facilitates the ways Americans and the corporate sector are supporting the nation's servicemembers.

The Have a Heart for Military Families program will provide customers with an opportunity to help families of injured servicemembers by making a donation to Fisher House at any Sears or Kmart store and online.

"Our partnership with Sears and Kmart comes at a critical time for our organization," David A. Coker, president of the Fisher House Foundation, said. "Our 37 Fisher Houses were home to more than 10,000 servicemembers and their families in 2006, and the need for additional homes is urgent.

"We plan to build 21 additional Fisher Houses, primarily to assist combat casualties and their families, so the support from Sears, Kmart and their customers is timely and needed," he added.

Customers can donate at Sears or Kmart stores or at or tomorrow through Feb. 11.

Sears and Kmart also assist troops and their families through several recruiting and employment programs. Both retailers offer a military pay differential to reserve-component employees who are activated. This allows reservists who are employed full-time to continue participating in life insurance, medical and dental programs while they're deployed. Additionally, Sears and Kmart hold a comparable position for these individuals for up to five years.

"We are proud to be partnering with Fisher House," said Aylwin Lewis, president and chief executive officer of Sears Holdings Corporation, which operates both retail chains. "Sears and Kmart have a longstanding commitment to those in the military, and we feel privileged to be assisting the troops and their families through this initiative.

"We know our customers will take this opportunity to open their hearts to help military families stay close to their loved ones when they need it most," he added.

(From a Sears Holdings Corporation news release.)

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