Special Olympics, Publix raising money to Light the Torch

The 25th annual Special Olympics Florida Torch Campaign is gearing up for its final week and organizers are asking Publix shoppers to help the charity meet its goal.

From now through January 13, Publix shoppers can support athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities while they’re in the grocery store.

With the purchase of a paper torch during checkout for $1 or more, patrons will give a much-needed donation to Special Olympics and receive $14 in coupon savings on select Procter & Gamble products. Athletes from the organization will also be collecting donations at various Publix locations over the next 10 days.

In 2018, Publix customers and associates contributed more than $4 million to Special Olympics Florida. This year, however, the charity has about a week less to collect donations, so organizers view the next several days as critical.

Since 1993, more than $46.4 million dollars have been raised through the Torch Campaign and continues to help give athletes opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience pure joy by fulfilling their goals alongside their family, friends and community. Publix, Procter & Gamble and Special Olympics have partnered together for more than four decades to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve their dreams.

According to organizers, more than 86 cents on the dollar go straight to Special Olympics Florida athletes and programs, consistently ranking the 501(c)3 organization a four-star nonprofit by Charity Navigator – the largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities in the U.S.

Special Olympics Florida serves more than 50,000 athletes who compete at a local, state, national and worldwide level. In addition to training and competition for these athletes, Special Olympics Florida provides $2 million each year in free medical exams for thousands of Floridians with intellectual disabilities through its health programs, including much-needed access to free prescription glasses and hearing aids. Special Olympics Florida-Hillsborough County currently serves more than 1,500 athletes in 17 different sports and is fortunate to have more than 1,200 volunteers each year.