Recently, a student from McNeese University wrote her personal story about an athlete that she has become friends with. The student at McNeese University is Amanda Fontenot. She wrote: “I’ve been friends with a boy who lives not far from where I live, for almost 4 years now. A few weeks ago, I picked him up to take him to the movies and to his favorite restaurant in town, like I do every month. This time, as he was laughing at his cotton candy filled Shirley Temple, he said “before unified sports became a part of my life, I felt like an outsider”. Unified Sports gave him a confidence he never knew before, both on and off the field and he never would have thought that he would ever have been able to just enjoy a day of movies and shopping without feeling like everyone was judging him. He never felt that he would ever just feel normal. The athlete then told Amanda, “After playing unified sports, I realized that I didn’t need to be normal to be happy and that I loved the person I am”, then he went back to licking the pink cotton candy from his finger tips. “I am so lucky to be a part of this incredible movement that is Project UNIFY. One of my favorite sayings is “saving one person won’t change the world, but surely the world will change for that one person.” This will be Amanda’s 8th year involved with Special Olympics and she said she can’t imagine it any other way. For more information on becoming a unified partner like Amanda check out our website!
“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” ― Albert Camus
We are excited about the friendships that will be made this weekend at the Games!
We recently came across this article which perfectly depicts how Unified Sports are changing lives.
“Amid the cacophony of clattering pins at the Shell Lanes bowling center in Gravesend, Brooklyn, it’s not easy to stay focused. But the teenage boy is resolute: Gently but confidently, he grasps the younger boy’s shoulders and guides him to the lane’s foul line.”
Read the full story here.
Social media has shown us that everyday is a National Day for something. Well, our friends over at Friendship Circle Blog have comprised a handy calendar to mark all the Special Needs Awareness days in 2014 sorted by season. Click here to see it (While you are there, check out their other resources and posts. They have great articles for those serving people with special needs.)
Special Olympics teaches people about themselves and about helping others. Volunteers often remark that they receive much more then they give. One young high school football player learned that lesson when he gave to a not so popular teammate… Watch the video story about Olivett MiddleSchool in Michigan.
A little boy named Hernán takes his time getting acquainted with the world’s gentlest dog. Hernán has Down Syndrome and is usually very shy when it comes to physical contact. When he met a dog named Himalaya, he acted no different. He was hesitant to play with her, but Himalaya did not give up. She was very patient, and consistently tried to get Hernán’s attention. After a few minutes, Hernán warmed up and gave her a big hug!