Volunteer next fall for Special Olympics

The Special Olympics has been around since 1968 and initially started as a backyard summer camp for people with intellectual disabilities. Now, the Special Olympics has over 5.5 million participants in over 193 countries according to their website.

Volunteers and donations are what make the Special Olympics function at the high level it does. Volunteers can either become a coach, trainer, official, event organizer, fundraiser or even a fan cheering in the crowd. People who play a sport for their high school or college team usually have a crowd full of fans cheering them on but the Special Olympics gets much less attention, so each fan in the stands is that much more important. 

Des Moines resident and volunteer Mary Buscher from the Sammons Financial Group said, “The athletes have so much to offer and so much to teach: lessons in teamwork, encouragement, positive attitude, perseverance, only to name a few. They change me for the better far more than I could ever hope to change them.” 

The more volunteers, the higher quality of the events, and that results in a better experience for the athletes and everyone involved, as stated on the Special Olympics website.

For those considering volunteering, Sydney Dommer, the director of regional field services for the eastern Iowa Special Olympics, said the next events in the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area will be our area and state bowling competitions. This will take place in October and November. After that, we will have basketball skills in February of 2024 and the track & field and swim competition in March of 2024.

If you are feeling unfufilled, lacking purpose or in search of something new, volunteering could help fill that void, and the Special Olympics is one of the most fulfilling places you can volunteer because it is hands-on and you can actually see the people you are helping.

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