Mission: The organization's mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilties.
Programs: During 2014, special olympics illinois conducted over 250 sports training and competition opportunities at various locations throughout the state. Over 22,000 athletes were registered in the special olympics illinois program. Athletes compete in 19 olympic type sports, earning awards for their sports accomplishments. Special olympics illinois offers opportunities to athletes for personal growth through the athlete leadership program. This program will give athletes the opportunity to interact in a conference style setting while providing input to the management of the organization on issues regarding training and competition. Special olympics illinois communicates regularly to its constituents, athletes, family members and donors through various print media, local newsletters, a statewide quarterly newsletter, and annual report provide information about participation in programs, athlete testimonials, and volunteer spotlights. Special olympics illinois conducts several special events each year to raise funds and help communicate the message about special olympics to the general public. High profile events such as the law enforcement torch run are very successful both in terms of funds raised and increased public awareness. In 2014 there was increased emphasis on project unify. Special olympics project unify is an education-based project, funded by the u. S. Department of education that uses the sports and education programs of special olympics to activate young people across the u. S. In order to promote school communities where all young people are agents of change - fostering respect, dignity, and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities. Project unify began its sixth year of activities in illinois in 2014. Project unify initiatives include a host of core activities: be a fan - "r word", social networking, sports experience, fans in the stands, get into it (tm), partners club, school enrichment, youth summits, young athletes (tm), unified sports (r), camp schriver, athlete leadership programs, traning and education, youth forums and global youth congress. Special olympics project unify incorporates special olympics sports and related activites. Currently there are 116 project unify schools having an influence on more than 27,500 students with and without intellectual disabilities. These schools are geographically diverse across the state and schools range from early childhood through college.
Not happy about what I just read in the newspaper today regarding the basketball games cancelled because of bad weather. It said "these games will not be made up". These young people have been practicing every day for a chance to go to the basketball semi finals. So now, because of no chance to play the games, just so many teams will be chosen to compete in the semifinals. What about all the young folks who have not even gotten their chance. This is just not right. Shame on Special Olympics Illinois.
I have seen the benefits of this not for profit organization have on special individuals by giving them the opportunity to attend camps and participate in sports programs for the last few years. The look on one of the participants faces after completing a race (everyone is a winner) is priceless.
This organization has an impact on so many specially gifted individuals. Please consider allocating a portion of your United Way pledge to the Special Olympics Illinois organization.