Chicago, IL (Vocus) March 30, 2010
Today, executives from Safeway (NYSE:SWY), Easter Seals and Special Olympics launched the grocery retailer's annual fundraising campaign for people with disabilities in San Francisco. The three organizations challenged employers to remember economic recovery should include all segments of the population, including people with autism and other disabilities.
"Now more than ever, employers need to tap into an extraordinary resource—people with disabilities who are ready and willing to work,” says Larree Renda, Safeway Executive Vice President and Chair of the Safeway Foundation. "Along with a paycheck, gainful employment affords people with disabilities a priceless measure of self worth and independence.”
Each April, Safeway stores raise funds to help children and adults with autism and other disabilities by asking shoppers to donate to Easter Seals, the largest non-profit provider of autism and disability services, and Special Olympics at checkout. The annual campaign coincides with April's Autism Awareness Month and Easter Seals' Act for Autism® efforts to raise awareness about the services and treatments the organization provides to families living with autism.
Last year, Safeway surpassed the $100 million mark for lifetime contributions to Easter Seals, all made since the two organizations' partnership began in 1986. In April 2009 alone, Safeway--and its thousands of employees and customers—raised nearly $9 million for Easter Seals services.
What Safeway Means to Families Living with Autism
"Safeway's commitment to Easter Seals and the millions of families we serve runs far beyond the annual fundraising campaign – it's business,” says James E. Williams, Jr., president and chief executive officer, Easter Seals. "Today, the company employs nearly 10,000 adults with autism and other disabilities, giving many a career and a means to live independently.”
This year, funds raised will support a variety of Easter Seals services across the country for families living with autism including:
"Safeway's in-store cause campaign in April is literally changing the lives of thousands of children and adults living with autism and other disabilities,” adds Williams.
Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 50 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America. The company operates 1,725stores in the United States and Canada and had annual sales of $40.9 billion in 2009. The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY.
About Easter Seals
Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and other special needs. For more than 90 years, we have been offering help and hope to children and adults living with disabilities, and to the families who love them. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play. Visit http://www.easterseals.com or http://www.actforautism.org/ to learn more about autism, find services at an Easter Seals near you, or change the lives of people living with disabilities by becoming a donor or volunteer.
Kristen Barnfield, Easter Seals