Safeway Inc. has launched its annual Support for People with Disabilities fundraising campaign to benefit Easter Seals, Special Olympics and an array of organizations that help people with disabilities live fuller, more independent lives.

This year, as a way to thank the thousands of customers and employees who generously support the campaign, Safeway is partnering with award-winning singer/songwriter and philanthropist Avril Lavigne and The Avril Lavigne Foundation to bring a new, exclusive video element and enhanced fundraising to the April effort.

“We are honored to be working with The Avril Lavigne Foundation to build even more excitement for our disabilities campaign and give our customers something unique as a thank you for their support – exclusive access to go behind the scenes with Avril,” said Larree Renda, Safeway Executive Vice President and Chair of the Safeway Foundation.

When customers enter any Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Dominick’s or Carrs store through April 30, they should look for the “Behind the Scenes with Avril Lavigne” signs near each store’s entrance, grab a tear-card from the sign and bring it to the register to make a $5 donation at checkout to support services for children and adults living with disabilities. Those customers will be given a coupon and code to view exclusive videos of Avril Lavigne on tour, behind the scenes, performing from her dressing room and visiting Easter Seals programs for kids with disabilities. There’s also an exclusive acoustic version of one of the singer’s most popular songs.

Each year Safeway dedicates April to raising funds and bringing awareness to helping people with disabilities. While the hallmark of the campaign is a $1 donation at checkout, the company also uses in-store broadcasts and video messages to customers and employees to share information about breakthroughs in research and new programs that help millions of people with disabilities in North America and around the world. To date, Safeway has raised and donated more than $130 million to support organizations such as Easter Seals, Special Olympics and a range of other organizations that assist people with special needs.

“Safeway’s annual fundraiser is helping to open a whole new world of possibilities and participation for countless people with disabilities, said Special Olympics President and Chief Operating Officer Brady Lum. “As a company that proudly employs thousands of people with disabilities, Safeway knows the importance of allowing people to live, work, and compete on their own terms.”

“The need for services and outreach to people with disabilities is greater than ever,” said James E. Williams, Jr., president and chief executive officer, Easter Seals. “We are appreciative and honored that Safeway and its thousands of employees are committed to helping Easter Seals make a significant difference. Avril Lavigne’s passion for supporting youth with disabilities is a natural fit and exciting extension to Safeway and Easter Seals longstanding partnership. We know she’ll add so much to the April fundraiser and give donors to the campaign something special in return.”

In addition to in-store campaign activities, the company will also partner with Rebuilding Together, the nation’s leading nonprofit working to preserve affordable homeownership, to plan and execute home or community center rehabilitation projects that serve people with disabilities. In the coming weeks, teams of Safeway volunteers will be deployed in to each of the company’s key markets to assist Rebuilding Together “project managers” with various repairs, landscape, paint and remodel work. This is the third year in a row that Safeway has joined with Rebuilding Together to make homes and community centers more accessible.

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