Sears is continuing its ongoing efforts with Rebuilding Together, the nation's leading nonprofit working to preserve affordable homeownership, to mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with a week-long, community-wide restoration project called "Fifty for Five," which aims to rebuild 50 homes with green and energy efficiency in mind. Fifty for Five is part of the larger Sears Big Switch initiative, which seeks to help families make the switch to five million ENERGY STAR® qualified appliances by removing and recycling millions of inefficient appliances from the energy grid for good, and saving families more than $2,500 on their utility bills.(I)
Although it has been five years since Hurricane Katrina bore down on New Orleans, roughly 35,000 families remain on waiting lists for long-term housing(II). In an ongoing effort to restore the lives of many of these individuals, Sears and more than 1,000 volunteers including City of New Orleans officials, HGTV/DIY Network stars, and other VIPs will come together throughout the week of Aug. 23 to restore 50 homes in the Gentilly neighborhood of New Orleans. On the shores of Lake Pontchartrain, the community experienced some of the worst flooding after the levees gave way in 2005.
Committed to restoring the community in a sustainable fashion, the Sears Blue Appliance Crew (SBAC), with the support of GE, will install more than 100 new, ENERGY STAR qualified appliances which will increase energy efficiency in many of the homes and help families save on their utility costs now and for years to come. In addition to the appliances, the rebuilds will include (as needed) the installation of insulated roofs, new energy-efficient windows, and insulation in and around HVAC units, which will help advance the homes' efficiency and help reduce homeowners' energy use and carbon footprints.
"In today's unstable economic times, we're pleased to be able to provide homeowners with energy-saving appliances that will help them save, making it easier for them to stay in their homes and afford the things they need," said Doug Moore, president of Home Appliances for Sears Holdings. "With an 80-year history in New Orleans, Sears is dedicated to making a difference that will impact the community not just now, but for years to come."
In addition to the numerous and varied efforts to make the homes sustainable, Sears and Rebuilding Together, which have jointly raised more than $10 million dollars to support Veteran Housing as part of the Sears Heroes at Home program, will focus on areas where they can have the greatest impact. These areas include rebuilding efforts for the elderly, adjusting their homes for accessibility and fall prevention, and military veterans and their families.
"We are committed to continuing the rebuilding momentum in New Orleans and reminding the nation of all the work that still needs to be done," said Gary Officer, president and CEO of Rebuilding Together. "Words can not express the gratitude we feel towards Sears, which continues to support our mission in the aftermath of Katrina and beyond."
Over the past three years, Sears and Rebuilding Together have worked to renovate and rebuild more than 750 homes across the country, including several projects in New Orleans and throughout the Gulf Coast region. Just last year, the two organizations helped reinvest and restore a 30,000 square foot Community Center and the home of Geraldine Bush, an Army Corps veteran, whose home is located in the historic Holy Cross neighborhood of New Orleans.
Rebuilding Together New Orleans is a local affiliate of the national nonprofit organization, Rebuilding Together, which restores more than 10,000 homes a year with the help of 200 affiliates and over 200,000 volunteers each year. Rebuilding Together's home rehabilitation program targets the populations most affected by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Since Hurricane Katrina, Rebuilding Together New Orleans has helped more than 750 families return to their homes. With Fifty for Five, Rebuilding Together will surpass 800 homes rebuilt in the community, inching closer to its goal of rebuilding 1,000 homes in New Orleans post Katrina.
For more information about what Sears is doing to help Americans become more energy efficient and save money, visit www.SearsBigSwitch.com.
About Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Sears, Roebuck and Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD), is a leading broadline retailer providing merchandise and related services. Sears, Roebuck offers its wide range of home merchandise, apparel and automotive products and services through more than 2,300 Sears-branded and affiliated stores in the United States and Canada, which includes approximately 929 full-line and approximately 1,200 specialty stores in the U.S. Sears, Roebuck also offers a variety of merchandise and services through sears.com, landsend.com, and specialty catalogs. Sears, Roebuck offers consumers leading proprietary brands including Kenmore, Craftsman, DieHard and Lands' End -- among the most trusted and preferred brands in the U.S. Sears, Roebuck is the 2010 ENERGY STAR Retail Partner of the Year. The company is the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 12 million service calls made annually. For more information, visit the Sears, Roebuck website at www.sears.com or the Sears Holdings Corporation website at www.searsholdings.com.
About Sears Home Appliances
Sears is the nation's leading appliance retailer with the largest selection -- over 4400 models. Only Sears sells the top 10 brands, including Kenmore, the nation's leading appliance brand. Sears always beats the competition's price, guaranteed, up to 30 days. Sears offers worry-free 1-year service, guaranteed and free help and support on all brands serviced by Sears 24/7 by phone. Sears provides next day delivery on over 1600 models -- that's five times more than any national competitor. In March 2009, Sears launched the online ENERGY STAR Rebate Center -- a program to help educate Americans about the millions of dollars in rebates that are available for ENERGY STAR-rated products and make it faster to receive these rebates. Sears has demonstrated its commitment to increasing America's energy efficiency through its actions over more than 10 years.
Sears sells more ENERGY STAR-rated appliances than any other retailer. In fact, in 2008, Sears was the first retailer to sell more than 3.1 million ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances from the nation's top brands, including Kenmore, the nation's leading appliance brand. In 2008 alone, Kenmore ENERGY STAR-rated appliances helped save America nearly 700 million Kilowatt hours, over four billion gallons of water, and over $100 million dollars.
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 trades people, 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, veteran's housing, aging in place and gulf coast reconstruction. For more information, visit www.RebuildingTogether.org.
(I) Based on utility savings over five years, associated with replacing the following 10-year-old non-ENERGY STAR qualified products: refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes washer, room air conditioner and water heater, with ENERGY STAR products.
(II) According to the 2010 Katrina Pain Index, more than 5,000 families are on the waiting list for public housing and another 28,960 families are on the waiting list for housing vouchers.
First Call Analyst: Westenberger, Richard
FCMN Contact: Rory.Swikle@eurorscg.com,firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.
CONTACT: Larry Costello of Sears Holdings Public Relations,
+1-847-286-9036 or +1-847-346-4514, Larry.Costello@searshc.com; or Sarah
Yansura of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, +1-212-367-6804 or +1-561-315-6946,
Sarah.Yansura@eurorscg.com, for Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Company News On-Call: http://www.prnewswire.com/comp/923204.html