Getting children involved in Special Olympics

The Special Olympics’ mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. This gives them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community (adapted from the Special Olympics official website)

.We spoke with Kelli Didomenico  of The Children’s Workshop for the following tips on how we can get our children involved with helping this organization:

  • Participate as an Athlete – per the Special Olympics website “all adults and children with intellectual disabilities can become a Special Olympics Athletes. All you need to do his identify the sport your family member is interested in pursuing and get them involved in the Special Olympics in your state.
  • Unified Sports – You can get your child involved in unified sports at your child’s local school as either a special Olympics athlete or involve your child as a partner to support, mentor and build a friendship with the Special Olympics athlete. This is a great partnership between all students to develop a unified team.
  • Volunteer Opportunites – like many non-profit organizations the Special Olympics is always looking for adults and students to get involved in their community chapter. To get involved and volunteer, find the nearest Special Olympics Program nearest you.
  • World-wide Events – What to join the larger scale events, then keep in mind that the Special Olympics host year-round events and competitions all around the world. Take a moment to visit your local Special Olympics websites to view all the great opportunities that are available that you and your family can participate in to make a difference in a life of a child and their families.

Ideas for volunteering:

  • Jump in feet first – You and your family can do some research together and see what opportunity best fits your family’s needs to get involved with the Special Olympics.
  • Join a cause – Again remember to choose an area that fits your family’s goals.
  • Make a Donation – Let your children know that they can simply donate by setting up drives at their schools and early learning centers to support the Special Olympics. Tell them or their parents to talk to their teachers about getting one started at your center or school. Let your children know that they can make things happen and can really have a good time doing it. It’s fun to see that something that you envisioned has come to life and really can be successful.

Please let your children know that the ideas are limitless for getting involved in your community and it doesn’t have to be a big endeavor. It can be as small as taking the time out of your day to have a conversation with a neighbor or running a car wash to raise money for a friend or community person. Just get involved…the benefits are boundless!!!