Monday, October 17, 2011

First Lady Michelle Obama visits 1000th rebuild home

Hoffman Estates, Ill. (Oct. 17, 2011) — Today, Sears Holdings and Rebuilding Together, the nation’s leading nonprofit working to preserve affordable homeownership, will finish work on the 1,000th renovation of a veteran’s home. The renovation is part of the Heroes at Home program, which aims to improve the lives of American military families by making necessary repairs, improvements or modifications to their homes. To mark this milestone, First Lady Michelle Obama will join dozens of volunteers and executives from Sears Holdings and Rebuilding Together at the Washington, D.C. home of Army veteran Sgt. Johnny Agbi to help complete the work and welcome him back home. Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden launched Joining Forces to bring Americans together to recognize, honor and take action to support military families as they serve our country and throughout their lives. The initiative aims to educate, challenge, and spark action from all sectors of society to ensure military families have the support they have earned.

“Throughout Sears Holdings’ rich history, the company has always demonstrated a commitment to supporting our servicemen and servicewoman,” said Lou D'Ambrosio, chief executive officer and president, Sears Holdings. “It is an honor and a privilege to announce that through our customer and associate support, we have been able to help renovate 1,000 veterans’ homes through the Sears Heroes at Home program.”

Now in its fourth year, Heroes at Home strives to uplift, assist and honor America’s military and their families by celebrating their stories, saluting their communities and saying thank you to the soldiers for their selfless service. Heroes at Home provides support to military service members, veterans and their families through joint efforts with various nonprofit organizations such as Rebuilding Together, as well as the Heroes at Home Wish Registry, which provides military families with Sears gift cards for the holidays. Since its inception, the program has raised $23 million and helped more than 62,000 families. Americans are invited to donate to the Wish Registry now through Nov. 19, as well as to the Heroes at Home program year round in any Sears store nationwide or online at

The veteran whose home renovations are being completed today, Johnny Agbi, served in the Army from 1997 to 2008 as a combat medic and was deployed with the 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan. Agbi sustained multiple service-related injuries during his time in the Army and was honorably and medically discharged. The repairs on Agbi’s home, which began on June 15, 2011, include much-needed renovations such as modifications for wheelchair accessibility, ceiling and lighting repair, installation of new appliances, painting and more. Agbi lives alone and is confined to a wheelchair; the improvements will help make his home safer and more accessible.

“Together with Sears, we are able to do more,” said Gary A. Officer, president and CEO of Rebuilding Together. "The Heroes at Home program has enabled us to broaden our reach in communities large and small nationwide. Without the help of Sears, its customers and associates, we simply could not help as many deserving military families as we have been able to.”

Sears Holdings has a long history of supporting military families and hiring associates who are active or retired service members. Sears’ ongoing commitment to assisting troops and their families includes several recruiting and employment programs, as well as a military pay differential to full-time associates who are reservists serving on active duty. Earlier this year Sears Holdings launched its Permanent Change of Duty Station (PCS) Promise. The PCS Promise was created to support Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden's Joining Forces initiative, which raises awareness around the challenges that military personnel and their spouses endure when moving from one community to another. The PCS Promise, which helps military associates and spouses employed by Sears Holdings secure job transfers, is aligned with the Joining Forces initiative, which asks the nation to support our brave service members.

For additional information about Heroes at Home, visit

About Sears Holdings Corporation Sears Holdings Corporation is the nation's fourth largest broadline retailer with over 4,000 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada. Sears Holdings is the leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, consumer electronics and automotive repair and maintenance. Sears Holdings is the 2011 ENERGY STAR® Retail Partner of the Year. Key proprietary brands include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, and a broad apparel offering, including such well-known labels as Lands' End, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as the Apostrophe and Covington brands. It also has the Country Living collection, which is offered by Sears and Kmart. We are the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 11 million service calls made annually. Sears Holdings Corporation operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation. For more information, visit Sears Holdings' website at

About Rebuilding Together Rebuilding Together is the nation's leading nonprofit organization working to preserve affordable homeownership and revitalize neighborhoods by providing extensive rehabilitation and modification services to those in need at no cost to those served. With the help of everyday citizen volunteers, skilled tradespeople, the support of local business and major corporate partners, Rebuilding Together affiliates in America's largest cities and smallest towns make life considerably better for thousands of low-income homeowners and the communities in which they live by completing 10,000 projects per year. Rebuilding Together has programs dedicated to energy efficiency, veterans' housing, aging in place and Gulf Coast reconstruction. For more information, visit You can also follow Rebuilding Together on Twitter @rebldgtogthr or become a fan on Facebook at

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Tom Aiello
Sears Holdings
p. 847-286-7387

Morgan Calef
Euro RSCG Worldwide PR
p. 212-367-6949

Becky Carter
Rebuilding Together
p. 202-518-3500

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