Wanna make a positive impact on a life? Here’s your chance

tylerWatkinsRoamingI’m curious, if you had a chance to make a real difference, would you? You’ve always said, “I’d just like to make a difference in the world,” right? Here’s your chance. I’ll tell you how you can make a direct impact on someone’s life and then watch that impact occur. Be prepared, if you act on this opportunity, you’re going to feel tears in your eyes as you watch the event unfold.

Still here? OK, you’ve been warned.

The Horry County Special Olympics is being held Friday, April 4th at Socastee High School. During this event, nearly 500 athletes will come together for a day of fun, competition, laughter, pride, and fellowship.  It’s the highlight of the year for most of these athletes.

I’ve volunteered for the event for the past several years in different capacities, and I can tell you that it is an amazing event. In fact, it’s one of my favorite days of the year, and like the athletes that participate, I begin looking forward to next year’s event, immediately.

Back to that making a difference thing, here are the details. The Olympics rely on the local community to donate a significant portion of its operating budget. Little things have to be purchased, and although they might not individually be expensive, when purchased in volume it all adds up.

One of those items is the award ribbons for each event. You may have seen a previous story about purchasing the ribbons, and you’ll probably see another one, because they have to be purchased each year. These are the ribbons that the 1st-6th place finishers receive at the end of their competition. Each one costs just over 40 cents. But the affect that they have on the athlete is priceless.

The Horry County Special Olympics is currently seeking someone to donate the funding for these ribbons. This is where you can make your difference. Five dollars, ten dollars, twenty dollars, whatever you can afford, your donation can combine with others to fully fund this portion. You’ll be making a real difference in a Special Olympians life.

But, that’s just part of the equation. I promised you the opportunity to see your good deed make a positive impact on someone’s life. On April 4th, arrive at Socastee High School just before 10am. Take a seat in the bleachers as the athlete’s arrive. Stand as the National Anthem is sung and the games are declared open. Grab that tissue that I warned you about earlier, sit back, and enjoy.

You’ll see athletes line up for their events with a look of determination and competition that arguably rivals those seen in Sochi, Russia.  The signal will be given, “Ready, Set, Go!”, and racers will give it their all as the crowd cheers around them and in the stands. Every competitor will be encouraged and cheered by friends, family, volunteers, and onlookers. Hugs will be given as the finish line is crossed.

Moments later, the top 3 finishers will gather at the podium. As they take their places for first, second, and third, their name will be announced and strings with ribbons attached will be placed around their necks. The athletes usually throw their hands up and yell, or smile hugely as the gathered crowd cheers. Cameras flash and hugs begin once again. It will be an emotional scene and it will happen over, and over, and over, during the 4 hour games.

Those athletes will then descend the podium, look down admiringly at the ribbon they’ve just received, and smile again.  You’ll sit in the stands and smile, knowing that you’ve made a real difference.

The athletes will spend the rest of the day walking around showing everyone their ribbon. They’ll take it home, and hang it from the mirror in their bedroom where it will stay for years before eventually making its way into a scrapbook of achievements, or framed on a wall. All of this, for 42 cents.

Here’s your chance. I’ll give you the link, you just begin the process by visiting the site and donating to the Horry County Special Olympics. It’s easy, and simple, and secured through Paypal. Then, mark your calendar for April 4th at 9am. Don’t forget the tissue.

The opportunity has presented itself. You’ve always said you wanted to make a difference. Will you?

Here’s that link…

http://www.horrycountyspecialolympics.org/

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