Apparently, Sears thinks the government isn’t sending enough of our money to the soldiers and they’re ready to do something about it with their Sears Heroes at Home Wish Registry. Make sure you read that title correctly. Sears isn’t offering to send the soldiers more money. No, they’re asking that you send more of your money to soldiers and their families in the form of Sears gift cards. And they’re making it easy by setting up a web page (linked above) for just that purpose.
At first glance it may seem that Sears will be providing holiday gifts to needy military families. But nothing on the site actually says this. All it says is that donations are not tax deductible (which means they aren’t charitable donations of any kind under law) and that the funds will be used to purchase Sears gift cards to distribute to all “registered families”. It then provides a box into which you can enter the dollar amount you’re willing to give to Sears in order for it to be passed on to “registered families”. I could not find anywhere to register to become one of these families, so have no idea what the criteria is, but there are even more problems with this Heroes At Home program.
There’s also a list of the Top 100 items that “military families told us they really need this holiday season”. Number 13 is a Nintendo Wii, #16 – an ATV, #24 – Nintendo DS, #31 – Giant Four Story Dollhouse, #42 – Sony PSP, #68 – Flat Screen TV, #93 Video Camera, and #100 Automatic Pet Feeder. Sorry, Sears, but no one (military or not) “really needs” a single one of those items.
Besides, as I always say when confronted with these “Support Our Troops” so-called charitable events: 1) they aren’t my troops, and 2) I’m already supporting them – my taxes are forcibly taken to pay their salaries. If these families can’t afford to buy the stuff they want for the hoidays they should find themselves another job that pays what they think they deserve.
If Sears wants to supply selected military families with gift cards no one is stopping them, but I find it somewhat sickening that you’re asking others to do what you’re not willing to and profiteering off it in the mean time by forcing the recipients to shop at your stores. That’s not charity, it’s advertising.