Sponsored Post: Granting a Wish with Sears

KEEP IN MIND THAT THIS CONTEST ENDS AT 11:59 PM ON DECEMBER 23, 2009. ALL PARTICIPATION AFTER THE FACT WILL NOT BE COUNTED. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

This post is a sponsored post on behalf of Sears via Izea. The opinions are mine.

The economy is tough right now, and in my personal life, things are as challenging to me as they might be for you. So when offered an opportunity to work with IZEA on a Sears Grant a Wish program, it piqued my interest.

Sears is not typically my store of choice to shop. Christina likes to accuse me of being a metrosexual – that is, I like to look good and am willing to put out money to make sure it happens. I don’t think that makes me metro, but who knows.

The program that Sears and IZEA are partnering on provided a $500 gift card for me to use in my Christmas shopping at any Sears store. The point was to grant a wish, as the Sears program name suggests. As an uncle of three boys on my side of the family (Ages 3, 2 and 6 months) and a girl (14 months old), there were plenty of wishes to be granted.

I went over to the Sears in Alexandria at the Landmark Mall and began by strolling the store. I checked out the electronics department (for me), the clothing department for kids, tools, toys… I even walked through the bedding section.

I was impressed that there were actual brands, mostly at discounted prices (50% off, 40% off, etc).

Without giving away the house (as folks read this blog, believe it or not), all the cousins were taken care of (my sister and her family and my brother and his family are really strapped right now, so this is a huge bonus for them, and it gives me an opportunity to Grant a Wish not only to the kids, but to my siblings who could benefit from the reinforcements). In addition, various other members of the family will be treated to “electronic gear” including a much needed digital camera. I was also taken care of in a small way to pick up some warmer winter clothes that I’m going to need here, especially with frequent trips to Boulder, CO for work.

Of course, 5 gifts were purchased to Grant a Wish to Toys for Tots as seems appropriate.

I want to be clear. This is not a business and technology post. This is not a how-to, or advocacy for smart social media presence in the web space. However, Sears is obviously positioning themselves to be smart social media citizens through their partnership with IZEA and bloggers (some of whom are Red Carpet bloggers). This is not a SEO post that is paid placement, for all intents and purposes. This is doing good for others with the knowledge that doing good for others will do good for them, and they are merely using folks like myself to do that good. I’m really blessed to have been given this opportunity.

I don’t know how often I will shop at Sears. I hate shopping anyway. But this was a great experience that helped me accomplish most of my Christmas shopping quickly (I don’t have a lot of time this month with travel) and allowed me to give where there was real need. I truly appreciate that most of all.

Obviously, larger principles apply here to business and life. It is what many have called The Golden Rule: Do to others, what you would have them do to you. Businesses can give if they don’t limit themselves to a bottom line, but engage in a culture of positive returns.

But wait, there’s actually more…

As part of this program, Sears has given me the opportunity to give away a Holiday gift package to one of you, my readers. That means I can Grant a Wish to you as well. :)

First the gift packs (Winner can choose one gift pack):

The iPod Pack

The Playstation 3 Pack

The “Electronics for Your Car” Pack

How to Play

Official rules are here. You can enter to win up to three times per person:

  • Use Twitter and tweet out “RT @technosailor please grant my wish to win the #Sears [package name] – tweet to win your own wish http://urlbrief.com/1c5ba9″
  • Leave a comment on this post with the Sears Item #s of products you would buy (up to $500). You can go to http://www.sears.com to look for item numbers.
  • Create a blog post about the contest and leave a link to it in the comments of this post.