Particular Olympics Strives To Assist Youngsters and Adults With Bodily Health and a Wholesome Life-style | Good for Santa Barbara

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November 18, 2020
| 3:00 p.m.

The annual “World Day of Giving” is upon us this vacation season and what higher option to give again to your group then becoming a member of in on #GivingTuesday by donating to the organizations that make Santa Barbara a spot we’re proud to name residence. Noozhawk is teaming up with native nonprofits to encourage you to participate within the worldwide day of giving on December 1st, 2020.

It’s no secret that this 12 months has been stuffed with challenges. Within the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic native nonprofits want your help now greater than ever. Our Good for Santa Barbara Nonprofit Part gives all of the sources you might want to donate this vacation season.

On this interview, Noozhawk talked with Gina Carbajal, Growth Director of Particular Olympics Southern California – Santa Barbara, to be taught extra about how the nonprofit is devoted to offering athletic competitors for kids and adults with mental disabilities.

Particular Olympics Southern California – Santa Barbara Area

Query: What’s the title & mission of your nonprofit?

Reply: The mission of Particular Olympics Southern California is to supply year-round sports activities coaching and athletic competitors in quite a lot of Olympic-type sports activities for kids and adults with mental disabilities, giving them persevering with alternatives to develop bodily health, reveal braveness, expertise pleasure and take part in a sharing of presents, abilities and friendship with their households, different Particular Olympics athletes and the group. Our imaginative and prescient is to advertise acceptance, inclusion, and effectively‐being for folks with mental disabilities by way of sports activities.

Q: How lengthy has your nonprofit been in service and whom was it began by?

A: U.S. Gold Decathlon winner Rafer Johnson began Particular Olympics Southern California in 1969.  Rafer obtained a name from Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1968 as an invite to the primary Particular Olympics Video games in Chicago. He mentioned that the occasion was such a optimistic atmosphere and he needed to assist the motion develop. Johnson knew extra wanted to be performed for folks with mental disabilities so in 1969, he helped kind the Southern California chapter of Particular Olympics. Immediately, Particular Olympics gives 12 months spherical sports activities coaching and competitors all through Southern California to over 38, 200 athletes with mental disabilities.

Q: What was the inspiration behind your non-profit?

A: Eunice Kennedy Shriver believed that if folks with mental disabilities got the identical alternatives and experiences as everybody else, they might accomplish way more than anybody ever thought potential. She put that imaginative and prescient into motion in 1962 by inviting younger folks with mental disabilities to a summer season day camp she hosted in her yard. She known as it “Camp Shriver.” The objective was to discover the youngsters’s abilities in quite a lot of sports activities and bodily actions. The concept behind that first Camp Shriver started to develop. In July 1968, the primary Worldwide Particular Olympics Video games had been held in Chicago, Illinois. 

In her remarks on the Opening Ceremony, she mentioned the inaugural Chicago Particular Olympics show “a really basic reality” — that kids with mental disabilities may be distinctive athletes and that “by way of sports activities they’ll notice their potential for development.” She pledged that this new group, Particular Olympics, would supply folks with mental disabilities in every single place “the possibility to play, the possibility to compete and the possibility to develop.” 

Q: How has Covid-19 impacted your non-profit?

A: With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting on a regular basis life, Particular Olympics faces new challenges. As we adapt to those unprecedented circumstances, we proceed to serve our athletes.  Nonetheless, with the intention to guarantee the security of our athletes, employees, and group, we now have made mandatory modifications to our programming till we are able to come collectively once more for in particular person sports activities coaching and competitions.

We’ve got additionally been impacted like so many different non-profits and companies financially, as we depend on fundraising occasions and grants to help the packages that we offer to our athletes.  We had been solely in a position to maintain two digital fundraising occasions this 12 months and most basis and grant sources have shifted their funding to Covid-19 companies inside the group.

Q: Describe the modifications which have been made to staffing and inside operations because of Covid-19.  Are these modifications anticipated to final past the quick time period?

A: We’re following all State of California Covid-19 protocols to make sure that employees, volunteers and athletes are secure.  We’ve got three employees that oversee the each day operations for Santa Barbara Area.  We’re primarily working remotely from our houses, with occasional workplace days.  We plan on going again to regular operations, as soon as we’re all in a position to get again to regular actions.

With reference to packages, we now have made necessary modifications to our packages to maintain our athletes engaged in bodily exercise, wellness and social engagement.  We’ve got needed to modifications:

• Wholesome Life-style Problem – is a platform the place SOSC athletes will work on their health, diet, and hydration whereas practices and occasions are cancelled. The objective of the Health Problem is to encourage athletes to proceed with their well being journey.  Challenges are facilitated by way of recorded movies which might be posted to YouTube & the HLC web site. 

Problem Class Descriptions:

• Health- Health challenges consist of labor outs of all ranges and types. Health challenges vary from 20-30 minutes. 

• Hydration & nutrition- Hydration & Diet challenges present info to finish the objective. These targets are designed to assist set wholesome patterns in on a regular basis life.

• Mindfulness- Mindfulness challenges give attention to self-awareness and self-help. Mindfulness challenges present info on the right way to follow these abilities by yourself on daily basis. 

• Sport Particular- Sport Particular challenges include sport particular drills, workouts, and ideas for each sport. These movies are particularly created by SOSC coaches. 

• Create your own- Create your individual is a option to earn factors by logging your individual each day actions. Examples of create your individual are attending a web based yoga class, going for a stroll, doing your individual work out. Something that will get you up and shifting can earn you factors on this class!

• Zoom Work Outs- Zoom work outs are dwell health challenges facilitated by SOSC employees. These work outs are two days per week and are open to anybody who desires to attend. Hyperlinks to the exercises may be discovered at www.sosc.org/hlc on Tuesdays at 4:00pm.

Q: What sorts of fundraisers and or packages does your non-profit run?

A: Fundraisers that can be hosted subsequent 12 months, as we get again to regular are:

• Tip A Cop at native eating places, Regulation Enforcement Torch Run, Fired Up for Particular Olympics Dinner and Polar Plunge.

• Particular person Donations: Make a present of any quantity to help an athlete.  

• Host a Mixer:  Host a mixer at your property or enterprise and invite buddies and colleagues to study Particular Olympics.

Our athlete packages that we will supply, as soon as we’re in a position to get again to regular programming are the next:

• Group Program – 12 months-round coaching and competitions in 13 sports activities for athletes ages eight and up.

• Faculties Applications – Encourages inclusion, participation, and management in college students by way of coaching and competitions by way of area people faculties.

• Wholesome Athletes – Supplies free well being screenings in a enjoyable, welcoming atmosphere.

• Unified Sports activities – Promotes inclusion between people with & with out mental disabilities.

Wholesome Life-style Problem – is a platform the place SOSC athletes will work on their health, diet, and hydration whereas practices and occasions are cancelled. The objective of the Health Problem is to encourage athletes to proceed with their well being journey.  Challenges are facilitated by way of recorded movies which might be posted to YouTube & the HLC web site. 

Q: How do folks get entangled/volunteer on your non-profit?  What protocols have been applied for volunteers because of Covid-19?

A: Throughout Covid-19, we now have needed to change how our volunteers work with employees and athletes.  We’re offering all of our actions by way of digital actions, with not in particular person occasions.

Our volunteers are at the moment aiding with the next:

Common check-ins and engagement by way of telephone calls to athletes

Hand written playing cards and notes

Zoom conferences each different week with our Sports activities Supervisor and Coaches

Zoom conferences each different week with or Growth Supervisor and interns to take part in cooking actions, video games, and different social actions to maintain our athletes engaged.

After we get again to regular programing our volunteers, help each aspect of our mission, starting from, however not restricted to palms on sports activities coaching as coaches, group huge day after day operations, day of competitions and fundraising occasions. 

Competitions Hosted in Santa Barbara: 

Area Basketball Competitors at UCSB – spring

Area Bocce Competitors – spring

Area Soccer Competitors – fall

College Video games Monitor & Discipline Competitors-spring

College Video games Soccer Competitors- fall 

Q: Are you able to share one or two tales of people whose lives have been modified due to your group?

A: I need to introduce you to Jessica Simon; she has been concerned with Particular Olympics for about 35 years. She first began collaborating with Particular Olympics by way of our college packages on the age of 5 years and transitioned into the standard sports activities packages. Jessica has participated in 10 of the 13 sports activities which might be provided by Particular Olympics. Jessica says, “Her favourite sport if she needed to choose one is swimming.”  

When requested how the present Covid-19 pandemic has impacted her life, Jessica mentioned “I’ve been staying with my household a couple of days out of the week and some days in my condominium, it has impacted my being unbiased.”  Jessica additionally acknowledged, “I actually miss not having the ability to get along with my buddies at Particular Olympics and never having the ability to work together in competitions.

In September, Jessica obtained engaged to her fiancé David Samson, whom can also be a Particular Olympics athlete, they’re planning on getting married in 2024.  Each Jessica and Dave additionally take part in Alpha Useful resource Heart packages.  What she misses most, is just not having the ability to see David frequently because of Covid.  

Jessica is maintaining herself lively, by swimming on the Santa Barbara Tennis Membership on a weekly foundation, her objective is to be picked for Particular Olympics World Video games in swimming.  Moreover swimming, she is maintaining linked together with her fellow athletes by way of the weekly Zoom conferences and Zoom enjoyable actions together with her fellow Particular Olympic Athletes and employees.  A few of the actions that they’re collaborating in our trivia nights, bingo, scavenger hunts, baking actions, and many others…, 

Jessica has been a extremely outgoing Particular Olympic Athlete, she has been a World Messenger for Particular Olympics for the previous 5 years, by which she has participated in numerous talking engagements for Particular Olympics and has performed a incredible job in opening many competitions by singing the Nationwide Anthem.  In 2016 Jessica was chosen to be one of many representatives for Particular Olympics Southern California to take part in a Particular Olympics Play Unified sports activities occasions in Shanghai, China. When requested what she plans on doing after we can come again collectively, Jessica acknowledged, “I’m engaged on bettering my swimming abilities, in order that I may be prepared for World Video games.  My objective is to be chosen for Particular Olympics World Video games in 2022.”

Q: Why ought to donors belief your group and what can your group supply donors in trade for a donation?

A: Our athletes at all times come first, they’re our primary precedence, and we comply with our guiding rules, that are the next:

We imagine that honesty, integrity, and mutual respect are the core rules of our group, and we pledge to deal with all athletes, coaches, volunteers, employees members, and donors in keeping with these rules. 

We pledge that every one choices can be made in help of our mission and that every one sources must be optimized for the direct good thing about our athletes.

We work arduous to maximise your funding. For each $1 raised on behalf of our athletes, 84 cents goes on to program prices. Applications are free to the athletes and their households, so donations are crucial to our program.

We’re proud that Particular Olympics Southern California has sound fiscal administration practices and our dedication to accountability and transparency have earned Particular Olympics Southern California a 4-star ranking from Charity Navigator, America’s largest unbiased charity evaluator.

Click on right here to help Particular Olympics Southern California – Santa Barbara Area and its mission to supply year-round sports activities coaching for kids and adults with mental disabilities and donate.



OMG is consistently cementing what Social-First means, the way it positively transforms society over the long-term and most significantly, it have to be the industrial mannequin companies convert to. The ethics we dwell by, form our values and tradition. We’ve got made nice strides due to the help we obtain from the general public.

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