When Two Worlds Collide

by Tessa Sechler

There are many businesses and fundraisers that support Special Olympics Southern California, but to some athletes, the AVP Campaign may be the most impactful. From March 27 to April 23, Albertson’s, Vons and Pavilions are asking their shoppers to donate to SOSC during checkout, with the goal of raising $1.5 million. This money will go towards enriching the lives of athletes with intellectual disabilities through sport, health and leadership programs. For Lindsey Newman, this means the world.

Lindsey has been a Special Olympics athlete for over 20 years and has been working at Vons for 13 years. Being able to see firsthand that her employer and coworkers are dedicated to helping Special Olympics is something that she holds close to her heart.

“I love all of them, because I wouldn’t be where I am today without them and Special Olympics,” said Lindsey. “I know that they’re doing all of this by themselves, and I think it’s amazing that they’re doing it. I’m moved by them, and it’s kind of really fun to see them do it and just see everything come into place.”

It was in 2006, right after high school and before she started college, that Lindsey started working at Vons. Lindsey is a courtesy clerk and works Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

“Courtesy clerks kind of do the sweeps and carts and that’s kind of a daily routine for all of the clerks,” she says about her position.

As a Special Olympics athlete, Lindsey has been able to embody a very active lifestyle. She says that being active is something that makes her who she is, and it’s what has motivated her to keep challenging herself. “That’s what I want people to know — I’m a very active person, and I love the person that I am today.”

The skills that Lindsey has developed over the years through Special Olympics and working at Vons has also helped her interact with different kinds of people.

“I think I’ve learned a lot because they’re very uplifting people and amazing friends,” Lindsey said.“It’s more fun, it’s more challenging, and I get along with others.”

“I think it’s the whole family thing,” is how she describes the feeling that these two organizations and the people in them make her feel. “Vons and Special Olympics are very uplifting and very inspirational towards others so I think that’s a big part of it.”

She says that in these first few weeks of the campaign, she has seen many people donate and sees how much her coworkers support the cause. “Vons has always been good to mem and I love everyone there. I think they’re very honored to fundraise, and I think they’re doing an amazing job.”

Find out how you can donate to SOSC through the AVP Campaign until April 23: www.sosc.org/avp

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