Family Engagement Initiative – Key to Athletes’ Success

By Dave Breen, President & CEO, and Jim Corrigan, Board Chair

Last year, we asked each other “What is the one thing that can have the most impact on the organization?” All we had to do was look at our biggest advocates – the families of our athletes!

Dave Breen & Jim Corrigan
Dave Breen                              Jim Corrigan

We decided that we need to do more for our families, to engage them more in the organization and better serve their needs. Our goal is that by providing better communication and education related to the services we provide, it will help us better identify our families’ needs and provide for a better experience for the athletes and their families. We know many of you give countless hours to our program already in support of your athletes and for that we are very grateful. But we want to build the biggest booster club we possibly can, just as most successful sports organizations do.

There are a variety of ways to become involved in Special Olympics Illinois to help us provide a better experience for the athletes:

  • Coach
  • Volunteer at an event
  • Spread the word to your networks about the Special Olympics Illinois Lottery Ticket and Unified Relay Across America
  • Help out at your local agency
  • Be a Fan at both competitive and fundraising events
  • Join a committee
  • Be a credible messenger to your networks and corporate connections. Get your schools, co-workers and neighbors engaged
  • Become a Family Ambassador and speak to groups about how Special Olympics has impacted your family.

Special Olympics Illinois needs to get better at providing additional opportunities for family engagement. In 2015, we are making a commitment to provide many exciting initiatives for our families, including parents, siblings, other family members and even friends of athletes, who can help in so many ways.

Our goal is to create the best sports organization and promote inclusion and acceptance. This will be accomplished by reaching more families and individuals with intellectual disabilities, creating a better athlete experience and generating more resources to grow our programs.

Call to Action:  If you would like to become part of the Booster Club, please let one of our staff know at the Area level and/or contact Karen Milligan, who is championing this goal, at 309-888-2551.

Thank you for all you do and here’s to a great 2015!

Happy New Year!