Whether bidding for wine packages, running a 5K, or playing bingo piques your interest, Special Olympics Southern California has fun, social, and virtual opportunities for everyone to support the immediate and long-term needs of SOSC athletes during the COVID-19 health crisis.
During October and November, join Special Olympics in the following virtual events and fundraisers: We Run The City, Mega Auction, Torch Run, Bingo, and more!
All funds raised will contribute to providing fitness kits, technical equipment, PPE and hygiene equipment, alternative virtual programming, and more for SOSC athletes. Learn more at sosc.org/givetososc.
People with intellectual disabilities need Special Olympics now more than ever. Throughout the global pandemic, SOSC has continued to support the vulnerable population through inclusive virtual sports, health, fitness, social, and education programs. In fact, nearly 600 athletes participate in SOSC’s Healthy Lifestyle Challenge, which is designed to help set healthy patterns and routines in athletes’ daily lives.
“I love the Healthy Lifestyle [Challenge] because it makes other athletes keep up their fitness and make healthy choices,” said SOSC athlete Amy Edelbrock. Amy participates in the fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness challenges every day.
“People with disabilities have their own way of doing stuff. It doesn’t matter what disabilities they have. They still play sports. That’s why Special Olympics is important to me,” added Amy.
The Healthy Lifestyle Challenge also offers live group Zoom workouts for athletes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The live workouts are growing in popularity every week. During the most recent session, 68 athletes tuned in to train together live.
“It’s amazing,” said SOSC athlete Sarah Kovacs. “It makes me feel good inside. I like being with all my other friends.”
Since March, all SOSC competitions, events, and practices have been canceled. The virtual online programming is the only way a lot of athletes get to keep in touch and stay active. A majority of the athletes who have had contact with someone from Special Olympics reported the support they were provided helped reduce their sense of isolation and correlated to higher COVID-19 prevention measures.
A total of 38,200 athletes and 18,000 volunteers participate with SOSC. Funding programming and purchasing equipment are essential to continuing to improve health, self-confidence, and independence among athletes with intellectual disabilities.
Yet, all of SOSC’s fundraising events, endowment funding, corporate sponsorships, and individual contributions have been dramatically impacted by the current pandemic. As a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis and the economic downturn, SOSC faces a revenue shortfall in 2020-2021.
How Donations Will Make an Impact
- Alternative virtual programming created during the crisis, such as the SOSC Healthy Lifestyle Challenge, sports activity leagues, live workouts, eSports, and more. This programming features daily activities to help athletes stay fit, eat smart, have fun, and socialize.
- Fitness kits for athletes of all ages. A single kit can cost anywhere from $25 to $100 and include items such as a pedometer, resistance bands, a jump rope, and more.
- Technical equipment, such as tablets and hotspots, and printing remote learning materials to close the digital divide and reach athletes who currently don’t have access to virtual programming.
- PPE and hygiene equipment for when we start in-person activities. This ranges from infrared no-touch thermometers to face shields and mask to hand sanitizer and gloves to so much more. The estimated Return to Activity PPE cost is approximately $10/athlete or volunteer.
Upcoming Virtual Events
Special Olympics Southern California will continue to provide virtual programming as a way to stay connected in lieu of all the canceled in-person events. Here are all of the upcoming virtual events:
- We Run the City 2020 is a virtual 5K or 10K, run or walk taking place September 26 through October 10. UCLA and USC alumni, faculty, fans, staff, and students will compete for bragging rights and the WRTC trophy. Funds raised by We Run The City will support Special Olympics athletes. Learn more at sosc.org/WeRunTheCity
- The SOSC Fall Extravaganza will consist of several virtual events in October and November, including a Mega Auction, Virtual Torch Run, Virtual Bingo, Ceremony and Dance.
- SOSC will hold its first Mega Auction through online bidding October 26-November 21. Items sold on the silent auction will help impact the lives of SOSC athletes.
- Be a champion of acceptance and inclusion and run in the Virtual Torch Run! Register, fundraise, and run/walk any distance from November 1-15.
- SOSC will host four Virtual Bingo events in November. Grab your virtual bingo cards and support inclusion!
Your Support is More Critical Than Ever Before
Special Olympics programming is essential to helping the under-served and vulnerable ID population. Learn how you can make a difference at sosc.org/givetososc.
Special Olympics Southern California
Special Olympics Southern California enriches the lives of 38,200 athletes and their communities through sports, leadership programs, and athlete health. Our free, year-round programs lead to improved health, self-confidence, and independence among athletes with intellectual disabilities and acceptance and inclusion in the community. Special Olympics Southern California has earned a four-star ranking from Charity Navigator for exceeding industry standards. This ranking is the highest Charity Navigator offers to an organization and is given because Special Olympics has demonstrated strong financial health and a commitment to accountability and transparency. Learn more at http://www.sosc.org.