http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2013/04/05/safeway-launches-campaign-to-help-those-with-disabilities


Pleasanton Weekly

News - April 5, 2013

Safeway launches campaign to help those with disabilities

Pleasanton-based grocer partnering with Easter Seals, Special Olympics, others in month-long fundraiser

by Jeb Bing

Continuing their longtime support of people with disabilities, Safeway Inc. and The Safeway Foundation launched their annual April fund-raising campaign this week to benefit Easter Seals, Special Olympics and other organizations that help those with disabilities.

The Pleasanton-headquartered company's Support for People with Disabilities campaign, along with other fundraising activities, have contributed more than $140 million to these organizations over the years.

"We have designated April as our time to make a difference in the lives of countless people served by these well-respected organizations," said Larree Renda, Safeway executive vice president and chair of The Safeway Foundation.

"Because one in five people live with a physical or intellectual disability, few causes resonate as deeply with our employees, customers and in our neighborhoods as the need to help people with disabilities reach their full potential," she added.

Each of the company's Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Dominick's, Tom Thumb, Randalls and Carrs stores will collect donations at check stands throughout the month. In addition to in-store fundraising activities, the company and The Safeway Foundation will again partner with Rebuilding Together, the nation's leading nonprofit organization working to preserve affordable home ownership, to plan and execute home or community center rehabilitation projects that serve people with disabilities.

The following is a snapshot of how the annual campaign has impacted people and communities across the country. Funds donated by Safeway's customers have:

* Financed training for Easter Seals staff across the country to help expand visibility of early intervention programs, which are critical for special-needs children, especially those with autism or other disabilities.

* Supported 23 Special Olympics programs in 22 states.

* Helped Easter Seals provide more than 37,000 hours of after-school care and other services for children with developmental disabilities in the San Francisco Bay Area through Easter Seals' Kaleidoscope program.

* Helped provide free training and competition opportunities to more than 13,000 Special Olympics athletes in Arizona.

* Helped Special Olympics Colorado expand to provide sports training to an additional 806 athletes.

* Financed the renovation of 20 homes and 12 non-profit centers nationwide through Rebuilding Together, benefiting nearly 5,500 individuals across the country. More than 1,800 Safeway employees donated more than 15,000 hours volunteering on Rebuilding Together projects.

"We are amazed at the impact that Safeway, its customers and employees have made each year on the lives of our clients and vital programs," said James E. Williams Jr., president and chief executive officer, Easter Seals. "Safeway also employs thousands of people with disabilities, many of them Easter Seals clients. This is a company that truly walks the talk."

"We are tremendously grateful for Safeway's continued support of Special Olympics," said Special Olympics president and CEO Brady Lum.

"They have embraced our mission and recognize the importance of providing opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to succeed both on and off the playing field. The money raised by this campaign will help thousands of Special Olympics athletes to train and compete as they experience joy and demonstrate their personal best to themselves and their communities."

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