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Special Olympics North Carolina Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Special Olympics, Sports

Mission: The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round athletic training and sports 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 and other Special Olympics athletes and the community. The concept of Special Olympics began in the early 1960''s in Chicago, Illinois, and North Carolina held its first Games in 1970 in Burlington. SONC is one of the largest volunteer-driven sports organizations in the state, with more than 20,000 volunteers. Based on the 2008 Special Olympics Athlete Census, SONC has 38,892 registered athletes.

Programs: SONC offers 20 sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities in which athletes aged eight and up can train and compete. Developmental sports and motor activities for people with multiple disabilities are also offered. In addition to sports competition and training at the local, area, regional, state and international levels, SONC offers the Special Olympics Play Activities Program which has been developed for children six and seven years old with mild or moderate intellectual disabilities and some level of physical mobility. The Play Activities Program provides activities that increase a child's strength and coordination, preparing them for the transition into Special Olympics, and organized sport, when they reach the age of eight. Another program offered is the Sargent Shriver Global Messenger Program which informs the athletes of the history and mission of Special Olympics while training them to give presentations to schools, recreational departments, group homes and civic and corporate groups. Each Global Messenger serves to educate the public on the benefits of Special Olympics, to recruit eligible individuals to participate in our program, and to motivate change within all of us.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Sapphire Atkinson

Client Served

Rating: 4

This organization does a lot better job of controlling with the way the state games are organized such as Summer Games. This organization can provide all the needed services that the people need such as the athletes. I really feel like that this organization does a better job of providing all the services that the athletes get normally at state games such as housing and meals. This organization does a lot better job at estimating how many athletes can attend a state games.

Review from CharityNavigator

Kathy L.


Rating: 4

I have volunteered for Special Olympics since the 1999 World Games. I have also volunteered and been employed by a number of nonprofit organizations. With all that experience, I have found Special Olympics North Carolina to be among the best run organizations that delivers incredible programming for their constituents for a relatively small budget. They do this by fully utilizing volunteers and using their funds wisely.

Review from CharityNavigator