The A Very Special Christmas series got its start when producer Jimmy Iovine decided that a Christmas album would be a beautiful memorial to his father. His wife Vicki suggested that the album benefit Special Olympics, for which she was working as a volunteer. Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss (the "A" and "M" of A&M Records) helped make the first A Very Special Christmas album possible with an advance and a commitment to handle the record without taking any royalties, and Bobby Shriver signed on as a producer.
In order for Special Olympics to fulfill its mission to provide more and better sports training and competition opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities around the world, coaches, personnel and volunteers are necessary to make that happen. The Special Olympics Christmas Record Grant Program disburses album proceeds as grants for worthwhile and innovative training initiatives that encourage growth, enhance services, or provide creative new ways to advance the Special Olympics movement around the world. As an example, Unified Sports®, which takes Special Olympics to a new level with its focus on integration and inclusion, was originally funded through a Special Olympics Record Grant.
Donation: Proceeds from album sales
Use of funds: Funds the growth of Special Olympics Programs