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Sears and Kmart membership platform and e-commerce marketplace teams with Major League Baseball player to host toy drive and support ongoing relief efforts.
As rebuilding efforts continue in the wake of Hurricane Maria, Shop Your Way is bringing the magic of the holidays to the island with the announcement of a unique toy drive to support “Que Ningún Niño Pierda la Ilusión en Esta Navidad (“Let no child lose the illusion this Christmas”),” an initiative in partnership with Major League Baseball player René Rivera. All gifted toys will benefit children in Puerto Rico who were affected by the devastating storm.
Shop Your Way, a free platform that connects members with offers and experiences to help them save time and money in their everyday lives, will collect toys in two ways: Now through Christmas, all 28 Kmart and Sears stores in Puerto Ricowill accept donations of new and gently used toys. Members who do not live on the island can give back by purchasing toy packs either online at Shop Your Way or at one of 25 Kmart and Sears locations in Miami and the Chicagoland area. Members can gift toy packs at $5, $10 or $20 increments; and Shop Your Way will match each toy pack purchased.* The goal of the program is to gift 25,000 toys total this holiday season.
“We care deeply about the residents of Puerto Rico and have remained dedicated to supporting their rebuilding efforts,” said B.J. Naedele, Chief Commercial Officer, Shop Your Way. “Keeping the spirit of Christmas alive despite the hardship so many Puerto Ricans still face is an idea that resonated with us, which is why we teamed up with René for this toy drive. As a shopping destination, we are well-positioned to help give families and children in Puerto Rico a merrier holiday.”
Rivera, free agent catcher who most recently played for the Chicago Cubs, has already pledged his commitment to his native Puerto Rico as the island continues to pick up the pieces post Hurricane Maria. He and his wife, Mariel, will distribute collected toys to children across Puerto Rico December 18-20. This follows Rivera’s launch of a GoFundMe page, which raised more than $39,000 for recovery efforts. In addition, Shop Your Way has already gifted 25,000 pieces of Cubs apparel in partnership with Rivera as well as his teammates Javier Baez and Victor Caratini to the island’s residents. Before Rivera arrives in Puerto Rico, the catcher will host an event on December 9 at the Kmart store on 8th Street in Miami to welcome those who have relocated from Puerto Rico to Miami—either temporarily or permanently—and help them get on their feet. A second event on December 16 in Rivera’s hometown of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, will serve as an opportunity to continue to distribute collected apparel and promote the toy drive, in addition to connecting with the community during this time of year.
“To see my hometown in ruins has been heartbreaking, but that feeling pales in comparison to knowing so many families are unable to celebrate the holidays because of their situation,” said Rivera. “Our goal for this toy drive is to bring these families joy, comfort and a break from their distress this holiday season.”
The toy drive is another way Shop Your Way has assisted affected members recovering in Puerto Rico. Shop Your Way has distributed hundreds of care packages containing food and essential supplies to community centers and children’s homes, as well as established ‘comfort zones’ at all open Sears and Kmart stores to give families a place to sit and rest, charge their phones and other devices, cool down in air conditioning and allow children to play. Members of the Kmart Pharmacy team have also been available at the ‘comfort zones’ to take blood pressure screenings and share information about flu shots and other immunizations.
*Shop Your Way will match up to 7,500 toys