PLEASANTON, Calif. Safeway on Tuesday announced a companywide campaign to support research and treatment for neuromuscular diseases, and praised the Muscular Dystrophy Association for the recent groundbreaking medical advancements that the organization has made possible.
"Safeway remains committed to funding the work of MDA for one key reason: MDA is passionate about finding new treatments and even eradicating neuromuscular diseases in our lifetime," stated Larree Renda, Safeway EVP, chief strategist and administrative officer. "The early results on a new round of research into one of the most prevalent forms of muscular dystrophy reflect this passion. Neuromuscular disease has no greater foe than MDA."
Now through Labor Day, Safeway's more than 1,700 stores in the United States and Canada will collect donations for MDA and Muscular Dystrophy. The company's U.S. retail stores also will participate in the Aisles of Smiles program, which provides MDA with a portion of the proceeds of specially marked products purchased by Safeway customers.
Safeway has raised more than $47 million for muscular dystrophy charities through customer donations at checkout and grass roots efforts, such as walks, golf tournaments and bake sales. At the end of each campaign, Renda, who is also a national VP of MDA, joins MDA National Chairman Jerry Lewis at the nationally televised MDA Labor Day Telethon to present the funds raised and thank Safeway's customers and employees for their generosity. Simultaneously, Safeway employees from across the country participate in regional MDA telethon activities to bring attention to the cause.
Safeway dedicates each April and August to bringing awareness to helping people with disabilities. The company uses broadcasts to customers in stores and video messages to employees to share information about breakthroughs in research and new programs that help millions of people with disabilities in the United States and around the world. Easter Seals and Special Olympics are among the organizations who receive the donations raised in April, with the August campaign dedicated to the work of MDA.
In addition to financial support, the company employs nearly 10,000 people with physical or intellectual disabilities, making it one of the largest corporate employers of people with disabilities in the United States.