Special Olympics British Columbia British Columbia

Safeway makes a difference for Special Olympics

24 March 2014

From March 7 to 21, Safeway cashiers asked their customers to make a difference for Special Olympics by donating $2 at the till. In return, donors received 5 AIRMILES Reward Miles. Huge thanks to Safeway and everyone who supported the You Have the Ability to Make a Difference campaign - $698,732 was raised for Special Olympics programs across the country!

Safeway is a generous supporter of Special Olympics athletes and programs across Canada; please click here to watch Safeway Operations Public Affairs Manager Mary D'astolfo share some of the reasons why.

Special Olympics BC athletes and volunteers were warmly welcomed into Safeway stores around the province on the campaign awareness weekend, March 15 and 16, where they helped local Safeway staff raise funds and awareness.

So many stories have been shared about the kindness shown by Safeway staff toward our athletes and volunteers, and the amazing support from Safeway customers!

In Smithers, Safeway was one of the most happening places in town on the awareness weekend. The store manager and employees were very kind and keen to make the weekend a success, and SOBC – Smithers athletes and volunteers did a fantastic job supporting their efforts and raising awareness about their programs.

The store staged a Shoot to Win contest where contestants donated $2 for the chance to shoot for the back of the net and win a variety of prizes donated by Safeway. SOBC – Smithers volunteer Jeannie Cramer, just a few hours removed from returning from a vacation in Hawaii, came out to enthusiastically cheer on the people scoring big all day, while a goal horn sounded for the successful shooters.

Meanwhile, Safeway staff were raising extra funds through a raffle for a Smart TV, and SOBC – Smithers manned a table full of information about their programs. The residents of Smithers were as generous and friendly as ever, happily supporting programs for athletes in their community.

SOBC – Smithers athlete Luke Smith (pictured above with Safeway colleagues and fellow athletes Laura and Torbin) has worked for this Safeway store for almost three years. He likes his job and all the coworkers, managers, and community members he encounters. Smith is a dedicated employee who regularly goes above and beyond – when he finishes his own duties, he seeks to help out in other areas such as stacking shelves.

“I always enjoy my job all the time. You meet people and talk to people you know,” Smith says.

Smith is a strong alpine skier who recently competed in the Regional Qualifier in Kelowna and hopes to advance to the 2015 Special Olympics BC Winter Games.

In Kamloops, host community for the 2015 Provincial Games, SOBC – Kamloops Fundraising Coordinator Michael Maveety reported that the Northshore Kamloops Safeway went “so over and above in helping us raise funds, it was impressive.”

“All year long they had been collecting used books for us, and had our athletes set up with hundreds of books that were purchased with proceeds going to us,” Maveety wrote. The store also provided cupcakes for the athletes to sell by donation, and held a barbecue on both days of the awareness weekend to support Special Olympics. SOBC – Kamloops athletes and volunteers provided great support for their campaign. The athletes came out in great numbers and pitched in with roles such as bagging groceries and helping with the barbecue.

“Most importantly, the sincerity that the Safeway staff used in working with our athletes bagging groceries and working the barbecue was very impressive to witness,” Maveety wrote. “I’ve always been a Safeway shopper but even more so now.”

In Abbotsford, the local Safeway welcomed the SOBC – Abbotsford athletes and volunteers with a beautiful cake to give away.

“We were not asking customers to donate, but quite a few did at our table. We raised $283 – one very generous customer gave us $100,” SOBC – Abbotsford Treasurer Sharlene Hawksby reported. “The clerks at the checkouts said it was a great day for them also, that having us in the store really increases donations at the till.”

While the fundraising was certainly impressive and much appreciated, the opportunity to spread the word about Special Olympics is a significant part of the campaign. Safeway stores and creative materials gave a great presence for Special Olympics, and SOBC athletes and volunteers did a wonderful job raising awareness.

SOBC – Surrey had a great presence by their athletes and volunteers in local stores and made an impact, forging contacts with local community members such as parents and teachers while raising funds. In Salmon Arm, SOBC – Salmon Arm Local Coordinator Aly Clifton and athlete Kathleen (pictured at left) reported that they had a great time talking about Special Olympics while selling apple pies.

We’re so grateful to Safeway staff and customers for their generous support, and to all the SOBC athletes and volunteers who have helped make this significant campaign such a success!

More photos

SOBC - Vancouver athletes Nellie-Jo and Kerry volunteering with the Safeway campaign.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <b> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <img> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.