Volunteering for Special Olympics
Special Olympics would not exist today — and could not have been created — without the time, energy, commitment and enthusiasm of people just like you, thousands of individuals who choose to take a little time from busy schedules to make the world a better place.
Around the world, there is a growing hunger for civic engagement and belonging. It’s about transforming lives, including your own. It’s about a spirit of giving and teamwork. It’s about making your community and neighborhood (volunteer at your local Special Olympics program) a more welcoming and accepting place.
And it’s about creating lifelong friendships and a new way of thinking about others. Those are rewards of immeasurable value.
What’s great about SO
“What impresses me the most about the athletes is their enthusiasm, spirit and camaraderie. Nothing is impossible, and they’re passionate about what they do. Sometimes it’s too easy to be negative in life, but their attitude rubs off on everyone and gives you a far more positive outlook on things. I would actively encourage anyone who doesn’t currently volunteer to do so; it’s truly a life-changing experience.
Be Part of the Family
Around the world, millions of people volunteer, taking pride in knowing they’re providing athletes with intellectual disabilities an opportunity to experience the excitement, joy and personal fulfillment associated with sport training and competition. From the local coach who works with athletes every day, to the international organization holding World Games every two years, dedicated volunteers make Special Olympics happen. There is always something to do, with training, competitions and other events happening 365 days a year.
The Next Generation of Volunteers
By many accounts, interest and participation in public service, volunteerism and social entrepreneurship among young people, from middle-schoolers to college students, have risen dramatically over the last decade.
Today’s teenagers and young adults, thanks to encouragement from their parents, an Internet revolution that makes the world feel smaller every day, and a growing number of service organizations in high schools, such as Special Olympics Project Unify, and on college campuses, such as SO College, are far more likely than their predecessors to seek out ways to give back and to shape the world they will inherit.
What You Can Do
Volunteering with Special Olympics creates change that carries forth from our Programs and into the world. Whether you’re an individual or a member of a school, church, work, civic or other group; whether you can volunteer for just a few hours on a single day as a scorekeeper, or several hours a week, year-round, as a special events coordinator; there are volunteer opportunities for you.
•Get in touch with Special Olympics near you to see what you can do to help.
•Be a fan in the stands at a Special Olympics event near you.
•Follow Special Olympics online through Twitter, Facebook and our own Fan Community
•Donate money to keep Special Olympics programs going.
•Contribute five minutes to take the pledge to stop using “retard” as an insult.
•Watch a video about a group of Mattel Corp. volunteers or about Mike Cohen, one outstanding coach, and then share it with five friends.
• Find out ways you and your church, club or friends can get involved near home. Find the Special Olympics nearest you and invite a speaker to your next get-together.
• If you’re a college student, check out SO College to get active at your school.
•Get in the game by joining Special Olympics Unified Sports®, where people with and without intellectual disabilities train and compete together on the same team.
• Know someone with an intellectual disability? Refer them to a Special Olympics program nearby.