Friday, May 30, 2008

Do You Shop at Safeway?

I don't, I think they are overpriced and poor quality(this is my opinion based on local stores and you may have your own opinion). I will give them the credit for stepping up and taking care of one of their employees though. It tugs at the heart and you can't help but feel good about a story like this.

By Michelle Esteban (link to story)

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- It will take thousands of dollars and several surgeries to reconstruct a local man's face.James O'Neal compares himself to the Elephant Man. A genetic disease left his face horribly disfigured, but that could soon change.O'Neal knows his deformity shocks people. He knows others with the same genetic disorder would rather hide than work, but for 7 years James has proudly worked the registers at the Kingsgate Safeway on 124th Avenue NE in Kirkland.

"I just tell people this is who I am, it's the way I am. If you don't like me, you don't like me," he said.

His customers don't like him -- they love him.

"I really love James," said shopper Katie Knopf.

Knopf has put her money where her mouth is. "We want to change his life," she said. She knows O'Neal's insurance likely won't cover all of the costs of difficult and extensive surgeries. So she's launched a Web site asking for donations for reconstructive surgery. Knopf also got Kinkos to donate a thousand fliers and plans to distribute them to local schools and the registers at the Kingsgate Safeway.Her generous heart tugged on Safeway's heartstrings. The grocer decided to kick in the first $10,000. "James is our employee, he is one of us and we absolutely think the world of him," said Cherie Myers, Safeway's director of public and government affairs. "This is just a bonus, this our bonus to him. He never asked for it, he's never said 'woe is me.' He's proud to be who he is." That's why customers flock to him. Knopf says she'll stand in line just to have him ring her up.

In July, Safeway stores in four states will kick off a three-week Canister Campaign, collecting donations to help O'Neal. Those who want to contribute can also donate online through KOMO News.

click on link above to read story and see a picture of James.

I know I haven't posted on vacation yet, I haven't gotten my pictures uploaded yet from vacation so I will get to those posts as soon as I do.