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Special Olympics Southern California Inc

Rating: 4.58 stars   12 reviews 2,185

Address:

1600 Forbes Way Suite 200 Long Beach CA 90810 USA

Mission:

The mission of special olympics southern california is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving 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.

Programs:

Competitions:special olympics southern california (sosc) provides competitions in 12 sports throughout the year in more than 100 sports competitions. Athletes have opportunities to compete at the local, regional and chapter level. The summer games and fall games are the highest level of competition at the chapter level with thousands of volunteers and spectators attending the games. Athletes may also progress to advanced competition at the national and international levels. No matter what the level of competition athletes are continually challenged to "be the best that they can be. " at special olympics competitions throughout southern california, the most victorious athletes are the ones who have achieved a personal best, and not always the ones who finished first, second or third. To ensure that our athletes can continue to perform at their highest levels, "healthy athletes" is available at summer and fall games championships. Volunteer healthcare professionals and students provide podiatry, hearing, optometry, dental, dietary and fitness screenings in a welcoming, fun environment. Many of our athletes walk away with new glasses, vouchers for hearing aids, or health referrals to a specialist in their community. Sports training: special olympics southern california offers a wide variety of training opportunities for athletes, coaches and officials. Our athletes have an opportunity to train in up to four sports per year, with 12 sports from which to choose. Special olympics programs are provided free to our athletes and include uniforms, food, transportation, equipment and housing when appropriate. Few people impact our athletes' success more than our coaches. Coaches not only provide sports skills and oversee practices, but they are role models who teach special olympics athletes about character, sportsmanship, courage, ability and personal growth. Special olympics coaches often find that the personal rewards received are equal to or even outweigh the benefits they offer the athletes. That is why sosc ensures that coaches are provided the tools they need to succeed in coaching individuals with intellectual disabilities. In addition, our coaches help to obtain quality facilities and equipment necessary for training. All of our coaches are background-screened and many of our coaches are certified by national sports organizations. Special olympics athletes may also become coaches and pursue other leadership opportunities. Special olympics also provides classes, clinics and online resources to support our coaches. In 2014, 4,100 volunteer coaches supported our athletes.

school partnership program: special olympics southern california's school partnership program provides opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities to benefit from special olympics participation at a young age, within their own school environment. Special education students who participate in the school partnership program experience better health, improved relationships with their peers and general education students, and a glimpse at how special olympics can lead to a lifetime of sports participation, friendships and healthy habits. This program is also key to achieving our strategic goal of increasing the number of athletes who participate in special olympics. We had 10,204 elementary, middle and high school students participating in our school partnership program, and 108 competitions were held. Students, teachers, classmates and families have all benefited from the program, which promotes inclusion and acceptance for children with intellectual disabilities. Participating schools have seen an increase in school unity as the entire school population has embraced this experience and come together to support individuals with intellectual disabilities.

2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

(562) 502-1100
www.sosc.org

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Reviews for Special Olympics Southern California Inc

Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Has no one noticed that the other reviews are predominantly those of volunteers? For many years, I was a donor; however, in recent years, I have become disenchanted with the Southern California Special Olympics. It has no Donor Privacy Policy. It has not exceeded "2 Stars" on the Navigator's overall scale since 2007. It spends less than 70% on its mission: year-round sports training and athletic competition to benefit persons with intellectual disabilities. It spends spends 20% on fundraising and 10% on administration. Further, it has accumulated over $3,500,000 in net assests after expenses. Additionally, it allocates nearly 8% for the salaries of 2 individuals. Alas, the cause is worthwhile; but, in my judgment, not so the performance or priorities of its leadership.

Was your donation impactful?

Unlikely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Unlikely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

During the Southern Cailornia Special Olympic Games, I had the opportunity to work with both staff members, volunteers and, best of all, the athlettes. This was a great experience and I look forward to the opportunity to work with them again. The staff were friendly and willing to help with anything. The other volunteers were all so eager to help that it made for a fun and energetic experience. Overall a great crew and an amazing organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've experienced the results of this organization in smiling faces of all the athletes.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I don't know if I would make changes to this organization.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I was fortunate to have volunteered at Special Olympics Summer Games at Cal State Long Beach during the summer of 2010. The event was run very efficiently by individuals that truly care for the athletes. The "Healthy Athlete" part of the event provided each athlete an opportunity to medical professionals that they may not otherwise receive. The athletes enjoy the camaraderie and competition with others. These events help the athletes grow as individuals. This is the way sports are meant to be played. In all honesty, I think the volunteers get just as much out these events as the athletes. I know I did.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

how I communicate with others.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

none.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I've worked with many non-profits over the years, as a volunteer, a fundraiser and as a pro-bono consultant. Special Olympics Southern California is by far one of the most well-run, efficient and productive organizations I've come across, and everyone involved has a genuine commitment to serving the needs of the mentally disabled. They create an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere with everything they do, providing the athletes and their families a supportive, encouraging and positive environment. Serving such a wide and diverse area as Southern California is not an easy task; it presents challenges that could cause significant difficulties for many organizations. SOSC does an impressive job of managing operations, logistics, communications and people across hundreds of miles. And if there are any issues, they don't let it affect the programs and/or the athletes' experiences. I look forward to my time spent at any of their events & activities and encourage anyone who's looking to get involved with special needs kids and adults in Southern California to participate. You'll leave with a big smile, knowing you left an even bigger one on someone else's face.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

...spending time with athletes who's lives have been definitively changed by their experience with Special Olympics. Participating in their events and competition means more to a special needs person - and their family - than any of us can realize.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

...expand the # of sports that athletes can compete in, and provide additional support through more coaching, equipment and facilities.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

My experience as a intern/volunteer at Special Olympics Southern California has been great. I worked with the Special Events/Development team and learned so much. I received great hands-on experience, as well as interaction time with the amazing athletes. This truely is a great organization with hard-working staff and leaders. What an amazing experience!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the feeling of helping others out and making a difference in people's lives.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make sure interns are well trained and on the same page.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

The experience I had at Special Olympics Southern California was such a rewarding experience. The chance to work with the athletes was inspiring. They are so motivated and excited to be a part of an organization that provides so many oppurtunities for them.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Face to face interactions with volunteers, coaches, and athletes.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

No change needed!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I wanted to volunteer my professional experience to Special Olympics in a way that would be both useful to the organization and meaningful to the athletes who participate. Public Relations V.P. Kim Pine immediately created a place for me within the organization to do just that. I was responsible for helping to create profiles of the athletes which would be featured on the S.O. website. Not only was the experience memorable and rewarding for me... but the athletes were showcased for all their hard work, courage, and dedication. Thank you to Kim and her team for making it all happen.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

By witnessing the joy and camaraderie of the athletes as they train and compete with the Special Olympics. It's an organization that truly has the power to better the lives of the athletes and their families.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I can't think of anything. If I came up with something for the sake of saying it... it would be disingenuous.

 
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profile
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Southern California Special Olympics is an outstanding group to deal with...From the leadership of Bill Shumard to the great people in the office, the SoCal Special Olympics are a great group to work with...Having been involved with the organization for well over a decade, I can say with certainty that they are all about taking care of their athletes, families, and those have special needs members in their lives...

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing the effect that Summer Games has on the athletes who participate...With a special needs nephew, I get to see those results up close...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wouldn't make any changes...

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I have had the opportunity to see the huge/positive changes that Special Olympics Southern California has provided to all those involved. The pride, self esteem, acceptance, and friendships that Special Olympics Southern California fosters is PRICELESS!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

talking to people, seeing the smiles, and interacting with athletes and their families

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

do nothing.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

As much as the Special Olympics of Southern California benefits the athletes involved, it also provides incredible memories to the volunteers, staff and fans in attendance. Everyone should get involved in this great organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Just seeing the smiles on, not only the athletes, but the coaches and volunteers is a sure fire sign that everyone involved in the event is benefitting. It's truly remarkable how the Special Olympics has created a place for people with physical/mental disabilities to perform on the largest stage in an Olypmic-style event.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

No change needed...Just continue telling the stories and outreach to the the community. The SOSC staff, volunteers and athletes are wonderful.

 
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