*March 29, 2018 UPDATE*
ESPN recently featured the many MLB players and coaches who spent their offseason bringing joy and hope to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. The story highlighted the holiday toy drive with Rene Rivera and Shop Your Way delivering toys on the island. http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=22949312
Santa’s sleigh arrived early with thousands and thousands of toys for children in Puerto Rico.
Earlier this month, Shop Your Way, Kmart and Sears once again partnered with Major League Baseball player René Rivera to support the families impacted by Hurricane Maria through a toy drive initiative called “Que Ningún Niño Pierda la Ilusión en Esta Navidad (“Let no child lose the illusion”).
Shop Your Way collected toys two ways:
- All 28 Kmart and Sears stores in Puerto Rico accepted gifts of new and gently used toys.
- Shop Your Way members who don’t live on the island could give back by purchasing toy packs either online at Shop Your Wayor at one of 25 Kmart and Sears locations in Miami and in the Chicagoland area. Sears Holdings associates also purchased toy packs at an event at the company’s headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. The toy packs were in $5, $10 or $20
In less than three weeks, the program reached its goal of bringing Christmas joy to 25,000 children thanks to the generosity of island residents and Shop Your Way members. Shop Your Way also supported the program as it matched all the toys given and the toy packs purchased. But collecting the toys was only the first step.
Starting this past Monday, associates from Shop Your Way, Kmart and Sears joined Rivera and his wife Mariel Perez in traveling around Puerto Rico to give toys and deliver happiness to more than 25,000 children. The Salvation Army of Puerto Rico was helpful in setting up the events at 32 schools, plazas and pueblos across the island and distributing the toys to children. The children also received Cubs t-shirts that were donated by Shop Your Way and in partnership with Rivera and fellow Major League Baseball players Javy Baez and Victor Caratini.
“Our team will always treasure the moments of seeing the joy in the children’s faces and hearing their shouts of delight when Santa arrived at each town with these toys,” said B.J. Naedele, Chief Commercial Officer, Shop Your Way. “We are proud to again team up with René and Mariel on such a special program to support Puerto Rico and keep the spirit of Christmas alive despite the hardship many are currently facing.”
The Carlos Beltran Foundation also teamed up to support the toy drive program with additional assistance provided by Inmediata Health Group, Seguros Múltiples, Popular Auto, Yaucono Ground Coffee, MDR Sports Management, Chicago Foundation for Education and Welch’s.
The toy drive was yet another example of the company’s ongoing commitment to support the island’s rebuilding efforts.