This holiday, Sears Holdings proudly partnered with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to bring joy to children in need. Marine Toys for Tots is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to collect and distribute new, unwrapped toys to children who otherwise might not receive anything during the Christmas season. Since 1947, the Marine Toys for Tots has distributed 548 million toys to 251 million children.
From November 8 to November 30, Sears collected donations at the checkout via the pin pads at all stores nationwide, and in that short time Sears raised more than $360,000 for Marine Toys for Tots. Local Toys for Tots coordinators then used those proceeds to purchase toys at 50 Kmart stores.
“We were pleased to collect donations at our Sears stores and also provide Kmart stores as an outlet to collect and purchase toys, bringing holiday cheer to children in need,” said Mark Johnson, head of retail services for Sears and Kmart. “Through the partnership with Marine Toys for Tots, the donations from our associates and members, and the ground-level efforts of our local stores, we were able to share the magic of the holidays with so many children. I’m proud of our associates and customers for the way they’ve rallied together to help those in need during the holiday season.”
“Charitable partnerships are something very close to the heart of Sears Holdings, so teaming up with the Marine Toys for Tots for the first time this year fits with our mission to serve our communities,” said Peter Boutros, chief brand officer for Sears and Kmart.
Local campaigns are the heart of the Marine Toys for Tots program and are the best source of support in communities across the country. Standing by this mission, more than 200 Kmart stores nationwide displayed Toys for Tots collection boxes. Shoppers were also invited to buy toys sold at Kmart for donations to the organization. Some Kmart stores, such as Lebanon, Pa., Stevensville, Md. and Marietta, Ohio, went above and beyond to organize their own toy drives. Examples their campaign efforts included:
- Using the official Toys for Tots Train to collect toys
- Running bluelight specials in the toy departments
- Coordinating a collection with the Natural Resources Police
- Toys for Tots volunteers in-store with a collection table
In addition to the local campaign efforts, Kmart stores across America received visits from the U.S. Marine Corp. and Toys for Tots coordinators making large-scale toy purchases in each store. In-store associates were ready and excited to help expedite the shopping and purchasing experience at the various Kmart locations.
“We were thrilled to partner with Sears and Kmart and hope to continue the partnership into the future,” said retired Marine Colonel Ted Silvester, vice president of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. “Through their fundraising efforts and toy drives, Toys for Tots was able to deliver a message of hope to many thousands of children who otherwise may have been forgotten”.
For more information about Toys for Tots, visit www.toysfortots.org.