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Safeway Inc. has launched its annual People with Disabilities fundraising campaign to help the early identification, treatment, and intervention services for kids at risk of developmental delays and those who have autism and other disabilities.
This April, shoppers at any Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Dominick's, Genuardi's, or Carrs store can make a donation at checkout to support Easter Seals, Special Olympics, and Rebuilding Together.
"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," said Larree Renda, Safeway EVP and chair of the Safeway Foundation.
The goal of Safeway's campaign is to provide more children with 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.
According to studies, 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. They are less involved in crime and delinquency, earn more as adults, and are less likely to become dependent on welfare.
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," said James E. Williams, Jr., president and CEO, 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."
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.
Pleasonton, Calif.-based Safeway operates 1,694 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $41.1 billion in 2010.