After you are done sitting down and giving thanks this holiday season, please STAND UP in support of Special Olympics.
Since 1968, Special Olympics Iowa has been a statewide movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports. Using sports as the catalyst, and including programming on health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. The Special Olympics works to promote a more inclusive society for all by helping those with intellectual dissabilities become accepted and valued members of their communities. This cause is shared by thousands of families and volunteers who work to make sure the mission of Special Olympics is carried out.
I have volunteered for the Special Olympics Iowa since I was very little, and it has taught me a lot about the power of motivation, positivity, and community. The most powerful thing to me is that the community volunteers who come out in support of these programs keep coming back, no matter the weather, or circumstances. I have witnessed first hand how these events can promote acceptance and growth for an entire community and I personally feel like that is worth supporting.
This Holiday Season, I plan to raise $1,000 in support of these events so that we may continue to change the lives of the athletes, their families, and even the volunteers who donate their time in support of this mission.
"My first experience with Special Olympics was in 1981. To this day it is simply one of the best days of the year for me, my family and an extended group of friends who have served as judges for all of those years. The hundreds of hugs and smiles we receive from the athletes are simply priceless" - Kurt, Volunteer
"There's something incredibly wonderful about the Special Olympics. It's one of the best feelings in the world seeing the competitive spirit in the athletes, coaches, and volunteers. They may keep score and distribute ribbons for each event, but there's no doubt in my mind that everyone is a winner during the Special Olympics. It is truly a special day for everyone involved." Tyler, Volunteer
"I got engaged with East Central Iowa Special Olympics in 1973 at the age of 18 through my fraternity at Coe College in Cedar Rapids. Sure, it was a philanthropic event for our group to assist with - but I was hooked on Day #1. 46 years later, it is still a humbling honor to coordinate the Spring Track & Field Events for upwards of 600 athletes year after year. I am fortunate to have a team of around 30 like-minded friends and their families who share in this mystically rewarding experience time and time again with me - some for over 35 years themselves.. Through the years, we have been able to watch the youngsters mature in their abilities, as well as observe the adults exhibit their youthful exuberance - even as their skill sets begin to subside. This is an under-served community amongst us, and Special Olympics gives them all the opportunity to compete, make friends, and have their moments in the spotlight which they may never otherwise have the chance to do so. The Special Olympics Oath contains very well-chosen words: "Let Me Win, But if I Cannot Win - Let Me be Brave in the Attempt". Those of us who work with these athletes each year receive the best rewards - it's just simply the best day of the year......every year." Thomas, Volunteer