|Doing Good Together Newsletter|
Jenny Friedman, Executive Director
Make a Difference... Special Olympics is a worldwide movement that provides sports training and athletic competition to 2.5 million athletes with intellectual disabilities in 165 countries. You can volunteer in multiple ways- providing transportation, assisting food-service workers, taking part in telephone campaigns, distributing materials for Special Olympic events, or serving as greeters, escorts or cheerleaders. States have their own continual schedule of events, leading up to the world games in Shanghai this fall. In Minnesota, for example, athletes compete June 21-23 in the Special Olympics Minnesota Summer Games at the University of Minnesota and at Mini-Hops Gymnastics in Minnetonka. Visit the website for more information.
Photo: Special Olympics
Talk About It ...
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
Special Olympic Athlete Oath
Like many youngsters with older siblings, Katie Timmer spent a good part of her childhood cheering on the athletic endeavors of her older brother and sister, Christy and Michael. But when Katie turned 8 years old, she herself became an athlete. She was attending a school for children with intellectual disabilities in Minneapolis, and her venue was the Special Olympics. Suddenly, her family became her biggest supporters and most loyal fans. During the past 24 years (Katie is now 32 years old), each family member has actively volunteered for the organization that they say gave Katie a life - a sense of pride, enduring friendships, life skills and real joy.
Katie's siblings and her parents, Dick and Pat, have lent a hand at all levels of Special Olympics Minnesota - assisting at events, fundraising, coaching, sitting on committees, even serving on the Board of Directors. Pat believes that Special Olympics volunteers get far more than they give and that it is an especially worthwhile family service opportunity: "Every time a family volunteers at an event, it breaks down barriers. They begin to see our athletes as regular people, with the same wants, needs and desires as anyone else."
Great news! "Doing Good Together at Cornelia School," the pilot project we developed for integrating family service into the school setting, has won the 2007 Minnesota Student Service Award for Outstanding Community Service by the Minnesota Department of Education. Since 1988, this award program has recognized the most exceptional programs and organizations throughout Minnesota that engage students in community service and service learning.