I’m going to be upfront here: I don’t like your products as much as I like Trader Joe’s. But I often choose to shop with you because I really love the fact that you hire so many people with obvious disabilities.
And so given your record of being fair and giving people with disabilities a chance at a job, I want you to know that this little bit in the card stand feels like a slap in my face:
“You can make a difference. Please donate today to help people with disabilities in your neighborhood.” And when I swipe my card, the screen reads, “Would you like to donate to people with disabilities today?”, in which I must select “yes” or “no”
People with Disabilities.
You are talking about me. You are talking about my daughter. You are talking about most of my best friends. My mother.
“Would you like to donate to people with disabilities today?”
You mean, would I like to give some of my money to myself? To my daughter, mother and friends?
But wait. I’ll never see that money if I select “yes”, because I know sure as hell that no one comes around to my door with a check from Safeway.
So my name – as a person with a disability – my daughter’s image, as a person with a disability – is being used to garner PITY from those in our community, “…help people with disabilities in your neighborhood” who will then give money to someone and you know what?
The people with disabilities in the neighborhood never even see a nickel.
Safeway. I expected better of you.
If people select “yes”, they want to help those of us with disabilities in their neighborhood, they feel like they are doing “the right thing” – but that money doesn’t go to my daughter, Moxie, I’ll tell you that.
If people select “no” they feel like a chump, not “making a difference.” Not caring about their neighborhood friends with disability.
Insult upon injury: customers are asked to make that selection usually right in the face of their bagger, who often has a visible disability.
Safeway, the donation piece is fine and well but please MAKE IT SPECIFIC. “Would you like to donate to the Special Olympics today?” or “Would you like to donate to Easter Seals?”.
But please. Do not lump all of us people with disabilities together, slap “make a difference” on our foreheads and use us fodder to fatten someone else’s wallet by virtue of pity.
Your turn to “make a difference”: take that language out and while you are at it, update the photo. “Jerry’s Kids” have grown up.