Special Olympics seeking volunteers and you can help

The Horry County Special Olympics will be held this year on March 30 from 9 a.m. till 1 p.m. and the call has been put out for volunteers for the event. It’s held annually at Socastee High School on the football field/track and attracts around 350 athletes.

I’ve already reserved my spot as a volunteer and I hope you will do the same. You may have to take a day off from work, you may have to rearrange plans, but based on my experience from last year, I highly encourage you to do just that.

When the offer was extended last year, I jumped at the chance. I’m often open to ideas to volunteer for life experiences and I anticipated this to be a perfect match.

I hadn’t spent much time around those classified as “special” and was curious. Being in a large group setting allowed me to see a variety of people in different mental states.

I was shocked by the normal-ness of most of the athletes. Had they not been wearing a label, I don’t think I could recognize some of them as in a special class. The one difference I did recognize was that most of those participants seemed happy in life.

Volunteering for this event is an incredible opportunity to do something good for others. Here’s a story for ya…

I was lining up the contestants for a track run, and standing in front of them about 10 feet away as sort of a barrier so they could visibly see that they weren’t supposed to go until the signal was given. We had one female contestant show early for her heat so we lined her up early. As she stood there warming up, she asked if I was having fun, I told her I was, and asked her the same question. She quietly said that she was.

This contestant was a short woman, probably 30-35 yrs old. After a few seconds of silence while we waited for the other contestants to arrive she said, “I’m glad I did this”, in a very sincere voice. She continued to say that she had participated every year for many years but had recently gotten away from it. She said she hadn’t done it in about 12 years or so.

I said “Great, well thank you for coming”.

She then went on to say that she’s really missed it, wasn’t sure if she would fit in, and that she was glad she had come, and that she was really having fun. Her words were so sincere.

I’ll never forget that lady. In fact, the whole day was one that I’ll never forget.

I encourage you, please join me in volunteering for this event. There are so many opportunities, from food duty, games, awards, and even a need from folks to provide smiles and cheers.

Please contact the volunteer coordinator at horrycountyso@yahoo.com and let them know that you’ll help. If you have specific questions, you can contact Jennifer Ainsworth via email jena216@yahoo.com

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One response to “Special Olympics seeking volunteers and you can help”

  1. Amy says:

    Wonderful!! See you there!

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