Welcome to Special Olympics Illinois!

You are about to become part of an exciting training and competition program and will serve an integral role in transforming the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics participation encompasses over 19 official sports, fundraising events, event committees, coaching opportunities, Young Athletes sports play programs and community initiatives – truly a spectrum of choices! So let’s get started!

Read more about our Volunteer Opportunities.

How to Get Involved as a Volunteer

There are two easy ways you can sign up to be a volunteer with Special Olympics Illinois!

  1. Sign up as a general volunteer (you will only be contacted when we have volunteer positions open matching your interests or location). If you have any questions please contact Aubrey Deerwester.
  2. Look through our calendar of events and sign up now for an event in your area


Volunteers are the core of the Special Olympics program and we could not exist today without the time, energy, education and commitment of our volunteers. Special Olympics Illinois relies on people of all ages to help in every aspect of the program – both at the local and state level.

It’s pretty great when we can have fun and bring something as great as this to so many people who deserve it.  This was my second year and I’ll be back.
-Jerry Arntzen

Anyone 10 years or older can be a general Special Olympics volunteer and coaches must be at least 14 years of age or older. For more information about coaching, see the Coaches section of the website.

Volunteer Information

Once you sign up as a volunteer you will be a representative of Special Olympics Illinois and as such we ask that you read and follow our Volunteer Code of Conduct.

If you have additional questions on Special Olympics Illinois and volunteering please email Aubrey Deerwester, you can also contact her by phone at 309-888-2551 or 1-800-394-0562.

Volunteer Job Descriptions

Transforming Lives


George's Gang

Our polar plunge team, "George's Gang," is plunging in honor of our dear friend and coworker, Ellen "George" Tarrant, who passed away in August 2016. At work she was referred ...

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Fans In Stands

Torture video provokes the worst of many fears for parents of special-needs kids

Originally Published by the Chicago Tribune by Patrick Kampert The cliche among people who have children with special needs is that our most fervent wish is that we will live one minute ...

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Volunteers Instrumental to Success of Winter Games

Every year Special Olympics Illinois relies on the generosity of tens of thousands of volunteers to put on nearly 300 events and competitions. These helpers, comprised of family members, friends, ...

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New This Year - Mendota Polar Plunge

You have heard the expression, “Too much of a good thing is not enough”. Well, so have we. That is why we have added another Polar Plunge this season, in ...

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Danielle Lanxon And Friends Web

Special Olympics Illinois sending 6 athletes, 5 delegates to 2017 Special Olympics Winter World Games in Austria

Special Olympics Illinois is proud to announce 6 athletes will be representing the United States, as part of Special Olympics USA at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games, The ...

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Photo By Alex McMillin

Volunteers Honored at Maggiano's Appreciation Dinner

Special Olympics Illinois honored several distinguished volunteers and businesses at their annual Special Olympics Illinois Maggiano’s Appreciation Dinner and Hero Awards on November 29. The event coincided with “Giving Tuesday” – ...

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My Light at the End of the Tunnel

Hello my name is Crystal Catherine Davis I am 24 years old and I have Autism Spectrum Disorder. I also have sensory issues and social problems. When I was in ...

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