Help us make a difference!


Volunteer for Special Olympics

Volunteers are the backbone of the Special Olympics movement. They are coaches, trainers, officials, event organizers, fundraisers and managers. They can also be unified partners -- playing alongside athletes with intellectual disabilities -- or fans cheering in the stands.

A Special Olympics official points and gives an athete some pre-race instructions

Helpful Hint. Special Olympics athlete Erin Thompson of Virginia gets pre-race instructions from volunteer race official Bob McCormick.

Rewarding for All

Our volunteers are all ages and their commitments can range from an afternoon to a lifetime. From China to the United States, Ghana to Singapore, Australia to Paraguay, Ireland to India, our volunteers are helping to bring out the champion in every Special Olympics athlete.

Special Olympics would not exist today — and could not have been created -- without the time, energy, commitment and enthusiasm of our volunteers. We owe so much to these millions of people who find the time to make the world a better place.

If you want to be a volunteer, get in touch with Special Olympics near you.

 


About Intellectual Disability

Special Olympics is a global movement of people who want to improve the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. But what are intellectual disabilities? Learn More

Spirit of Giving

Special Olympics is about transforming lives, including your own. It’s about a spirit of giving and teamwork. It's about making your commune ty and neighborhood a more welcoming and accepting place for people of all abilities.

It’s also about creating lifelong friendships and finding a new way of thinking about others. 

Our volunteers include the local coach who works with athletes many times a week. Or the people who help organize and plan our World Games every two years. Or the photographers who take the most amazing pictures of our athletes in action.

All around the world, Special Olympics training, competitions and other events are happening 365 days a year. There is always something interesting to do!

 


All Ages, All Interests

We have seen dramatic growth in teens and young adults volunteering with Special Olympics. These volunteers include students taking part in school-based groups like Special Olympics Project UNIFY and Special Olympics College. Their enthusiasm, dedication and creativity are hard to beat!

One of our college leaders began volunteering on a whim when she was in the second grade. She calls that "the best decision of my life."

Charles Scott of the Special Olympics Illinois Board of Directors has been a longtime volunteer. Over the years, he has learned that Special Olympics is a place that deeply appreciates its volunteers, their spirit and dedication. "You know you’re really helping people who are differently able than others," he says. "That’s a gratifying experience for us all.”

 

Your Donation Matters

Special Olympics transforms athletes’ lives through the joy of sport. Help us make a difference.

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Volunteer Near You

Volunteering with Special Olympics is fun and very rewarding, for both the athlete and the volunteer!

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Find events near you and learn about volunteer opportunities at one of our 226 worldwide locations.

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Our Supporters

The Christmas Records TrustFunding Special Olympics work worldwide.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Annenberg FoundationSupports our goals for coaches’ excellence.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Bank of AmericaProud partner of Special Olympics.Learn More »


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CITGOOfficial Fuel Sponsor for the Unified Relay Across AmericaLearn More »


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Coca-ColaSpecial Olympics Founding Partner.Learn More »


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ESPNGlobal Presenting Sponsor of Unified Sports®.Learn More »


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EssilorOfficial global supplier of ophthalmic lenses.Learn More »


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AIPSGlobal Impact Partner for Special Olympics.Learn More »


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Lions ClubSupports access to quality eye care.Learn More »


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MattelSupports Special Olympics Youth Programs.Learn More »


Our Supporters

MicrosoftRevolutionizing information systems that power our games.Learn more »


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MTM RecognitionSupplier of awards and medals for our athletes.Learn More »


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Perfect Sense DigitalSpecial Olympics' leading digital partner.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Procter & GambleCelebrating over 30 years of partnership with Special Olympics.Learn More »


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SafewayRaises funds and awareness for people with disabilities.Learn More »


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SàfiloSupplies optical frames and sunglasses.Learn More »


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Toys“R”UsHelping children of all abilities experience #MyFirstSportsMomentLearn More »


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UNICEFProvides greater inclusion of children with disabilities.Learn More »


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Y&RPowering our global youth marketing campaign.Learn more »


Special Olympics Blog

The Start of the Solution

Young people from around the globe with and without intellectual disabilities are coming together at the SOGenUin Summit as part of the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games with one goal - to change the world.

 

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Posted on 2015-07-23 by Natalie

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Special Olympics - Become a Fan

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Through play we learn sportsmanship, team building, persistence, character, determination and friendship. Take the #LetsChangeTheGame challenge.