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Sears American Dream Campaign Provides Backpacks, 'Home Essentials'

Tuesday, August 26, 2003  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Governor Perdue Visits Columbus Sears Store to Help Foster Families

Atlanta - Governor Sonny Perdue and First Lady Mary Perdue today joined Sears associates and retirees, DHR/DFCS representatives and five local families and their foster children as they packed backpacks at the Sears store in Columbus, GA located at 5555 Whittlesey Blvd. Sears is partnering with the Georgia Department of Human Resources/ Division of Family and Children Services, (DFCS) Region VIII to equip local foster children with backpacks filled with essentials to make their new temporary placement feel more like a home.

"As former foster parents, we know first-hand how challenging, yet rewarding, fostering can be," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "For a child in foster care, going to a new foster home can be difficult. These home essentials, donated by Sears, will help make the transition easier for these kids."

The program is part of the Sears American Dream Campaign, the company's $100 million community commitment to help Americans in disadvantaged situations outfit and maintain their homes and families.

The backpacks will be filled with items such as teddy bears, writing journals, alarm clocks, radios and flashlights. DFCS Region VIII will distribute the bags to 100 foster children, ages 3 and up, who will be placed in new homes this fiscal year.

While foster children often struggle to adjust to their new surroundings, foster families face the emotional and financial responsibilities of welcoming a new child into their lives. To lend a helping hand, the Sears American Dream Campaign will assist nearly 4,000 foster families state-wide by providing them with coupon books to help purchase the items they need.

"Taking on a new family member can be emotionally and financially challenging," says Robert Smith, Sears store general manager. "We hope that this special discount program will help lessen the financial burdens to foster families. This is a small reward for their contribution to children."

Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a broadline retailer with significant service and credit businesses. In 2002, the company's annual revenues were $41 billion. The company offers its wide range of apparel, home and automotive products and services to families in the U.S. through Sears stores nationwide, including approximately 870 full-line stores. Sears also offers a variety of merchandise and services through its websites -,, and - and a variety of specialty catalogs. For more information about Sears, Roebuck and Co., please call Lisa Gibbons (847-286-5506).