The 11th annual Sears Military Family Discount Program will be held this year on Dec. 4, 2016. Active and retired military personnel, reservists and family members can take advantage of a discount of 15 per cent at Sears.
“Sears Operation Wish is a cherished initiative among all of us at Sears Canada. From its inception in 2006, we have held true to its purpose of honouring and recognizing the often selfless contribution military personnel and their families make to our communities and our country. The annual discount shopping day is just one way for us to show our appreciation at this time of year,” said Becky Penrice, executive vice-president and chief operating officer, and president, Sears Canada Charitable Foundation.
The discount is valid for 24 hours, beginning midnight EST until 11:59 the following evening. Military community members can take advantage of this offer at any full-line Sears store, Sears Home stores, Sears Hometown stores, the current catalogues and online.
“We are just so pleased to be able to provide this service. It’s not just a business thing for us. It’s very much giving back to our community, and our associates are very involved, and they are very excited about it. They look forward to it,” said Dwight Skeates, Corporate Communications | Community Affairs & Corporate Archivist, Sears Canada Inc.
Not only does Sears offer a day of discounts to the military community, but as part of Operation Wish the department store has partnered with Military Family Resource Centres (MFRCs) to provide a variety of programs.
Sears stores located near Canadian Forces Bases, typically host “Welcome home to Sears” parties. These parties offer a variety of activities for the entire family to enjoy such as face painting, free makeovers, shopping consultations, free coffee and houseware demonstrations.
Also as part of Operation Wish, this year, Sears will be spreading holiday cheer at the Winnipeg MFRC. As part of this special day, military children from the Winnipeg community are preparing a mural showcasing what family means to them. This mural will be revealed at the MFRC on Dec. 1. Sears additionally has a lineup of special surprises for the Winnipeg MFRC that day.
“We asked the Military Family Resource Centre in Winnipeg to send us a wishlist of items they would like to receive to help them refurbish and enrich programming offered by their youth centre. We are fulfilling this list and will be making a surprise delivery on Thursday, December 1st. This initiative complements our ‘Everything Under the Tree’ national campaign as we look to bring Canadian families closer together during the Holiday season,” stated Penrice in a statement.
Last year, Sears visited the Halifax MFRC to help upgrade the youth centre.
Additionally, Sears will be selling the charity plush teddy bear named Owen. Profits from the sale of this teddy bear will go to MFRCs, and a portion will go to local charity partners.
Sears will also once again be donating $10,000 to MFRCs across the country.
Since its inception in 2006, the Sears Operation Wish program has donated more than $180,000 towards the military community.
The program started as a way to connect Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members to their loved ones during the holiday season while many of them were deployed on missions in Afghanistan.
“We wanted to bring those service men and women deployed a little bit closer to their families at Christmas,” recalled Skeates.
Sears provided a discount and made it convenient for these military members to purchase and send gifts back home. In addition, Sears brought the community together back home in Canada to sign cards and banners to send to troops overseas.
In 2011, Sears adopted the Military Family Discount Program as part of Operation Wish.
“It really has become a call-to-arms of the heart for Sears and for our associates. We feel very privileged to do it, and we’re very glad that it has had such a good response over the years. We certainly welcome all military families to come out and take advantage of the discounts on their day shopping on Dec.4,” added Skeates.