This post has been sponsored by the gift card division of Sears through my IZEA Insiders relationship with IZEA. While they supplied the $100 gift card I supplied my time and personal opinions and choices while participating in the ‘Don’t Just Give a Gift, Grant a Wish‘ campaign.

We're ready to Grant Wishes

On Thursday I received I received a $100 Sears gift card and the instructions to go to Sears and use that gift card. You might be thinking, “Wow Drew certainly could get some great stuff for himself with $100 gift card from Sears” and you would be right. However, the purpose of my trip to Sears was not to buy something for myself or even to buy gifts for my family. Although, Eva did end up with her own My First Craftsman Rough and Tough Toolbox, but more about that later. My mission was to grant wishes.

We're ready to Grant Wishes

So, on Saturday Allison, Eva and I went to Sears not to buy gifts for people but to grant wishes. Sears has a great promotion happening right now titled ‘Don’t Just Give a Gift, Grant a Wish’ and there are many famous celebrities who are part of the promotion. Each one tells their own Wishtory. The one I liked very much was by Ty Pennington.

The spirit of this promotion is that gifts aren’t just gifts they can make a huge impact on people’s lives. I remember that when I was a kid the best part of Christmas anticipation was flipping through the Sears Catalog, the Wishbook. I would read the toys and electronics sections over and over but my main focus was on the Transformers. This was the book I would go through to tell my parents and grandparents which Transformers toys I wanted for Christmas. And, each Christmas for years I was lucky enough to get a ton of those toys. I was a very lucky kid.

My Wishes

Those toys sparked my imagination and my love for technology. I remember cataloging all of my Transformers in a database on my old Apple computer. I could tell you all of the stats for each character and could transform them all so quickly. I’d set up large battles between the Autobots and Decepticons in my bedroom over and over. Those toys made a huge impact on me even to this day (as you might have seen a photo of one or two… dozen Transformers on this blog)

Granting wishes is fun!

When charged with this task of ‘Don’t Just Give a Gift, Grant a Wish’ for someone by using my $100 gift card from Sears I knew exactly what I wanted to do. In my town there is a program called Christmas is for Kids and they collect toys for children in the local area. On Christmas, what kid doesn’t wish for a great toy that will spark their imagination?

I wish to be a singer

Allison, Eva and I marched into Sears, we asked a sales associate for directions to the toys department and went to work. We picked out toys that would encourage imagination and learning. The first thing I found was a My First Kenmore kitchen set. It had pots and pans and kitchen utensils. We picked up two of those because I figure that one of these kids will get that set and maybe it will spark a dream to become an amazing chef.

Kenmore toys

We also picked up the My First Craftsman Rough and Tough Toolbox. Actually Eva picked this up and she wouldn’t let it go. I think that:

a.) she loves things with handles so she can pick them up and walk with them
and
b.) she sees her Grandfather building things and wants to be a little like him

I want this to be like Grandfather

So, while we did spend the bulk of the $100 Sears gift card on Christmas is for Kids we ended up getting Eva a My First Craftsman Rough and Tough Toolbox with the gift card money as well.

So, you want a toolsbox.

A toy that I was really looking for however was a Transformer and I was happy to see that Sears carried many major toy brands including Transformers. I picked out Snarl and Soundwave from the Transformers Animated line. (See Photo Above) These characters are homages to the Generation 1 characters from my childhood. I hope that they give the child who receives them many hours of imaginative gameplay. I also picked up my other favorite toy LEGO. LEGO is sure to keep a child’s imagination running.

LEGO inspires dreams

I am grateful to Sears for this $100 Sears gift card. A few things were sparked in my mind by doing this. First, I want to be able to do this every year with Eva and Allison, on our own. I am planning to put away $10 a month for the next year to have $120 so we can get a haul of toys for Christmas is for Kids next year as well. It think this is an important lesson of giving that we can pass along to Eva.

I have this it is on my fridge at home.

The second thing was that while we were walking through the store and looking at all the merchandise we saw a couple of wooden boxes with old books in them. These books were being sold to raise money for the Heroes at Home program. This program was set up to help give military families what they need. You can even donate to this program online. I asked a sales associate about the box and if they took donations. He said that the donations came from employees. I asked further, “That is great but can I donate?” He said that I could so I will be pulling together a big big box of our old books to donate to help this program.

Heroes at Home

Sears has always been a store that I could trust. I’ve purchased TVs, computers, printers, clothes, car batteries and many other things from Sears. I was happy to be asked to be part of this promotion especially with a company that gives back like Sears does. And having the Sears gift card is a great gift idea because you can use it to purchase any item of your choice. We had complete freedom to buy whatever we wanted with that $100.

Eva wants to give too

So on Monday I dropped off two large bags of toys to Achin’s Garage in North Attleboro. Achin’s had a toy drive for Christmas is for Kids about a week ago that I went to. I was inspired by their dedication to this program and wanted to further their efforts as well. Being a part of the ‘Don’t Just Give a Gift, Grant a Wish’ program was an excellent opportunity and experience.

Loaded with Toys

I have a bunch more photos in the BenSpark Grants A Wish Flickr Set to share with you.

And now I want to pass that experience on to you.

I Get to Give These Away

I am giving away a $100 Sears Gift card for you to use. You can use it to Grant a Wish for yourself or someone else.

How to Enter

Readers can enter via blog comment, tweet or blog post.

Blog Comment:
Readers can leave a comment on this blog post with the Sears Item numbers they would buy with their card (up to $100). You can go to Sears.com to research your item #s.

Twitter Tweet:
Each reader can simply tweet out the following message:
“RT @benspark please grant my wish to win a $100 #Sears gift card – tweet to make your own wish http://urlbrief.com/ffa74c”

Blog Post:
A blogger can enter by writing a post about the contest and linking back to this post. Please use this link http://urlbrief.com/ffa74c and say BenSpark Grants a Wish somewhere in the post, possibly the anchor text for the link. Then be sure they leave a comment on this post with the URL to you post.

Each tweet, comment or post counts as one registration. A person can register up to three times by tweeting, leaving a comment and doing a post on their own blog. The winner will be chosen at random by IZEA based on all entries. The contests are separate, each blogger participating in this promotion will have their own package to give away.

The Contest begins at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (“EST”) on December 15, 2008 and ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on December 23, 2008 (the “Contest Period”). Entries will not be acknowledged.

Please see the official rules for more details.

Want more chances to win. Check out these other fantastic bloggers and their adventures at Sears.

$500 Gift Cards!

$100 Gift Cards from Izea Insiders!






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