Review from CharityNavigator
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 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 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.
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 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.
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 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!
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.
Want inspiration? Hang out with some Special Olympics athletes. But don't forget to look around at the volunteers and staff for inspiration as well. I have never come across so many people who simply enjoy themselves by helping children and adults be all that they can be (to steal a phrase from military ads). I'm a better person for being associated with Special Olympics as I'm always aware of the difference I can make in the lives of others by giving something as simple as my time. I can't explain it - but I'm thrilled when I see a SOSC athlete in action. In them I see hope, dreams and our community's best intentions. And who doesn't want to be a part of that kind of beauty?
I've volunteered with the Special Olympics of Southern California on many occasions and I'm pleased to say that its the best part of my year. Working with the athletes is truly inspiring. At the last Summer Games I met with a young golfer. To see the joy in his face every time he swung a club no matter how the shot turned out. He was a very good golfer and it was also great to see how he encouraged and helped his fellow athletes. I spoke briefly with his family and found out only a few years before he was completely cut off from the world and how the Special Olympics and his love of golf and brought a life into their son which they had feared they would never see.