Safeway Makes the First Five Years of Life Count for Kids with Disabilities

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When you Shop, Make it Count. Grocery Company’s Annual People with Disabilities Campaign Supports Thousands of Families Living with Disabilities

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The need for services is greater than ever -- especially therapy for young kids at risk of developmental delays and those who have autism and other disabilities.

Safeway Inc., one of the nation’s largest employers of people with disabilities, just launched their annual People with Disabilities fundraising campaign to benefit Easter Seals, Special Olympics and Rebuilding Together. This April, shop any Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Dominick’s, Genuardi’s, or Carrs store and make a donation at checkout to support Easter Seals early identification, treatment and intervention services for kids at risk of developmental delays and those who have autism and other disabilities.

Making the First Five Count for All Children
As the largest provider of early intervention services, Easter Seals knows what’s possible when kids get the support they need during the first few years of life – and also what happens when they don’t.

Through Safeway’s campaign, more children will have access to early intervention services—programs that strengthen children’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual abilities and provide the building blocks for success in school and in life.

These young children who get the best start in life today will create our nation’s workforce for tomorrow. Because children who get the help they need early are less likely to be held back a grade, less likely to need special education and more likely to graduate high school(1). They are less involved in crime and delinquency, earn more as adults and are less likely to become dependent on welfare. Early care keeps kids in school and helps them find jobs; it keeps kids in communities and out of jail. (2)

“As a company that proudly employs thousands of people with disabilities, Safeway directly benefits from the work of these programs and is committed to contributing to their success and increasing their outreach,” says Larree Renda, Safeway Executive Vice President and Chair of the Safeway Foundation.

Since Easter Seals and Safeway’s partnership began in 1986, Safeway has contributed millions to Easter Seals, surpassing the $100 million mark in 2009.

“Safeway’s commitment to Easter Seals and the millions of families we serve runs far beyond the annual fundraising campaign,” says James E. Williams, Jr., president and chief executive officer, Easter Seals. "The need for services is greater than ever -- especially therapy for young kids at risk of developmental delays and those who have autism and other disabilities. We are appreciative and honored that Safeway and its thousands of employees are committed to helping us make a significant difference."

How Safeway is Funding Kids’ Futures
Funds raised will support many Easter Seals’ disability services for children and adults across the country including:

  •     In California, child care centers that enhance development of infants and toddlers with disabilities and minimize their potential for delay.
  •     In Colorado, intensive play therapy that helps children with autism develop social, communication, and relationship-building skills.
  •     In Texas, high-quality Applied Behavior Analysis and scholarships for critical therapy services whose families are unable to afford the cost of physical, occupational and speech-language therapies.
  •     In Arizona, expansion of early intervention services, screening, evaluation, assessment and intervention planning for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families as well as supports for assistive technology and speech, occupational, physical therapy and a unique feeding program for infants and toddlers.
  •     In Illinois, audiology, assistive technology and Easter Seals’ Therapeutic School and Center for Autism Research.
  •     In Washington, D.C., respite programs, autism training for therapists, assistive technology and inclusive early childhood education.

“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.

About Safeway
Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America, based on sales. The company operates 1,694 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $41.1 billion in 2010. The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Visit

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 or 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.

(1) Heckman, James. Nobel Prize Laureate Professor, economist and advocate for early education. The Heckman Equation Project. Available at

(2) “Economic benefits of quality preschool education for America's 3- and 4-year olds. ”National Institute for Early Education Research. Available at Note: Several studies, including Perry Pre-School in Michigan, the Abecedarian Project in Chapel Hill, N.C., and the Chicago Public School’s Child-Parent Centers document the value of high-touch early education programs for young children at risk for disability and developmental delay.


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Kristen Barnfield

Rachel Talen
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