|Vancouverites Encouraged To Sign Huge Holiday Banner To Send to Afghanistan in Support of Troops|
|VANCOUVER, Dec. 4, 2008 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX News Network) -- Vancouverites are being asked to add their greetings to an 8' x 4' banner featuring pictures of the families of Canadian soldiers, who will be away from home this holiday season. The banner will be unveiled in Vancouver at 12:30 pm today at the Sears on Robson store. It's on a tight deadline to make it to Afghanistan in time for Christmas, so the banner will be in the store only on December 4th, on the main floor near cosmetics.
Families of soldiers stationed abroad submitted their photos to Sears, who put the banner together. The full 16' x 4' banner was officially unveiled in Ottawa on Dec 2. Half of the banner went east for signing and half of it has come west. Members of the Mainland BC Military Family Resource Centre were at the Sears on Robson store on Thursday, December 4, to unveil the banner and encourage Vancouverites to add their greetings.
Following Vancouver, the banner will stop in Edmonton before being rejoined with the eastern half in Toronto on December 16th, the last stop before the banner heads off to Afghanistan, where it will be unveiled for our soldiers just prior to Christmas.
This national salute to military families is part of Operation Wish, a program sponsored by Sears Canada in co-ordination with the Canadian Forces Personnel and Family Support Service (CFPSA), designed to help Canadians show their support for the thousands of Canadian troops who will be separated from their families this Holiday season.
"This is the third year that Sears has supported Operation Wish," said Rob Evans, Store Manager for Sears on Robson. "Each year it is a bit different, but the sentiment is always the same. It's about families and caring. It's our way of trying to make the season a little brighter for personnel deployed around the world who won't be able to physically spend the Holidays with their families. We're always overwhelmed with support from our customers, associates and Canadians for this initiative."
Over 100 BC families will have loved ones deployed this holiday season. "It means a lot to our deployed troops to feel connected to their home, especially at this time of year," said Melissa Ratcliff, Board Chair for Mainland BC Military Family Resource Centre. "Knowing that they have the support of their community and loved ones makes doing such a difficult job a little bit easier, and makes them feel closer to their home and families."
In addition to the banners, Operation Wish also allows Canadian troops stationed abroad to play Santa to their family back home by placing a customized order from the Sears Wish Book online. Copies of the catalogue were sent to Canadian soldiers, sailors and air force personnel posted to operational missions in Afghanistan, Africa, the Balkans, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Southwest Asia and the Arabian Gulf region, as well as those serving on HMCS Ottawa.
<< Banner signing dates include: - Fredericton, NB, Thursday, December 4, 2008 - Belleville, Ont., Tuesday, December 9, 2008 - Vancouver, BC., Thursday, December 4, 2008 - Edmonton, Alta., Monday, December 8, 2008 - Toronto, Ont., Monday, December 15, 2008 >>
BC Mainland Military Family Resource Centre
Military Family Resource Centres are autonomous, non-profit organizations governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Professional staff and volunteers provide needed information, support and referral; promote health and social well-being; buffer lifestyle stresses; enhance coping skills; assist in preventing individual, family and community breakdown; and help individuals or families in distress.
Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network of 197 corporate stores, 185 dealer stores, 45 home improvement showrooms, over 1,850 catalogue merchandise pick-up locations, 106 Sears Travel offices and a nationwide home maintenance, repair, and installation network. The Company also publishes Canada's most extensive general merchandise catalogue and offers shopping online at www.sears.ca.
SOURCE: Sears Canada Inc.
Patricia Robitaille, (604) 873-0080, email@example.com