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2015 Special Olympics World Games

2015 Special Olympics Logo

The 2015 Special Olympics World Games was recently held in Los Angeles between July 25 and August 2. This multi-sport event hosted around 6,500 athletes from 177 countries are marked the second time in 16 years that the biennial World Summer Games have to held in the United States; the last time Los Angeles hosted was in 1972.

This year in particular, both athletes and supporters came together in a concerted effort to create an inclusive and encouraging environment. Participating countries included Austria, Mexico, Mongolia, Costa Rica, China, Poland, Iran, and Uganda. This amazing opportunity affords athletes with disabilities the chance to compete in physically demanding sports like cycling, gymnastics, kayaking, and powerlifting. Win or lose, each participant received a medal or ribbon as proof of their hard work and dedication.

Fans cheered for all sports, including the traditionally unpopular ones like bocce ball and badminton. A Special Olympic recruitment program enlisted volunteers to pledge to show up in groups of 10 or more to ensure boisterous noise for each event. The Redondo Beach child development centers brought almost 400 children to the convention center on Thursday, and the Job Corps Center brought hundreds of supporters daily. Special Olympics recruitment manager Medina spoke with companies, college students, and provided information booths where volunteers could sign up in the months preceding the occasion.

The opening ceremony was held on July 25th at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Opening remarks were made by First Lady Michelle Obama and a pre-recorded speech from the president himself. Performances by Becky G, Stevie Wonder, and Avril Lavigne set the tone for the next week of competitive fun.

On July 28th, Los Angeles Dodger Justin Turner spent time bonding with Special Olympics Athletes at the Softball Divisioning. He watched the USA team from Missouri take on Mexico and win. According to Turner, “It’s just inspirational. You see how passionate and determined and committed these athletes are to their sport. I don’t know if people appreciate their commitment and passion enough.”

This was an amazing opportunity for anyone who was fortunate enough to attend.

Custom Chairs for Habitat for Humanity

If custom chairs are your thing, high-end Italian furniture manufacturer Promemoria presented customized Bilou Bilou dining chairs for the “Chairs For Charity” auction.  These unique chairs were designed by eight outstanding interior designers and exhibited at Dragonette Ltd. during the 2015 Legends of La Cienega design festival. Chairs ranged from $2,030 to $3,610 each featuring various upholstery and decorative linings. Proceeds from the Paddle8 auction went to the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles.

For more information on these exquisite pieces, check out the article on LA Times: Customized Chairs for Charity to benefit Habitat for Humanity.

Although the auction is currently closed, you can also look at the Paddle8 website and view these beautifully auctioned chairs.

5 Organizations to Volunteer At in Los Angeles

If you live in the Los Angeles area and would like to volunteer in the local community, it can be difficult to find the right programs. Below are some quality organizations get involved with in the LA area.

Roy-Dekel-FoodbankGroceryships: The mission of this organization is to improve the long-term health and wellness of low-income areas by created a network of educational support groups and access to healthy food. If you have a group of 10 or more who would like to volunteer, you can simply reach out to Groceryships and they will send you a meeting format, curriculum, film series, healthy recipes, and weekly discussion topics. After you pick a start date, your team will be ready to educate the community on healthy eating.

Baby2Baby: This organization is designed to provide low-income families with children ages 0-12 with diapers, clothing, and basic necessities. Partnered with homeless and domestic violence shelters, Head Start programs, and children’s hospitals, Baby2Baby is able to serve nearly 100,000 children in the Los Angeles area.Baby2Baby hosts volunteer events every Monday and Wednesday at their mid-Wilshire warehouse where you can create personalized gift bags for specified children in need or help sort the hundreds of donation items they receive weekly. Additionally, donating items yourself is always welcomed.

L.A. Regional Food Bank: The L.A. Food Bank works with homeless shelters and daycare centers, fighting to end hunger. Over a period of 40 years, 1 billion pounds of food has been distributed. You can help by signing up for a physical or virtual food drive. The 400 pound pledge establishes the minimum food distribution quota. You can donate as an individual or group. If you work out of a large office, speak to your HR representative about a company sponsored virtual drive.

Roy-Dekel-StudyingThe Hollywood Education and Literacy Project: H.E.L.P. is a tutoring service for individuals ages 9 and up in reading, math, and phonics. The goal of the organization is to eliminate illiteracy and empower individuals to be competent, self-motivated learners. On-grade reading level has increasingly become an issue. The Hollywood Education and Literacy Project has recognized this issue and aims to correct it. The basic requirement for volunteering is the possession of at least a 9th grade reading level.

The Downtown Women’s Center: Established in 1978, the DWC is dedicated to helping women overcome poverty and homelessness in Skid Row. They provide supportive housing and a safe and healthy community where women can establish dignity, respect, and personal stability. Volunteers commit to 2-3 hours a week for 6 months in which they facilitate workshops demonstrating the “SET to Create” program. This program allows women to learn a craft skill and create items to be sold in the DWC store.

Thank you for visiting my site!

Thank you for visiting my website. Please be sure to check back again soon for more information regarding community service and involvement.

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