Do something good for yourself and your health…volunteer.

Special Olympics would not exist today — and could not have been created — without the time, energy, commitment and enthusiasm of its volunteers. As a grass-roots organization, Special Olympics relies on volunteers at all levels of the movement to ensure that every athlete is offered a quality sports training and competition experience.

“What can I do as a volunteer?”

Special Olympics volunteers can get involved at the State level, or offer their services locally at a Special Olympics Maryland Program in their community. Some volunteers offer a few hours of their time a year at specific events, while others work several hours a week year-round. Whatever your interests, talents, background and availability, there are volunteer opportunities for you, from a one-day position as a scorekeeper at an athletic event, as a licensed health care professional volunteering time to provide event-based health support, to ongoing involvement on a planning committee for competition and special events.

“How can my volunteering make a difference?”

Volunteering for Special Olympics Maryland can be a life-changing experience — not just for the athletes, but for you as well. Special Olympics Maryland sports training and competition, and related programs promoting participation and inclusion, transform the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. And when volunteers come together with athletes with intellectual disabilities through Special Olympics, longstanding myths are dispelled, negative attitudes changed, and new opportunities to embrace and celebrate people with differences are created.

“I’m not sure if I’ll fit in or what contribution I can make.”

  1. If you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity that can make a difference in both your life and the lives of others, Special Olympics Maryland is the place for you.
  2. When you volunteer with Special Olympics Maryland, you have an opportunity to work with some of the world’s most gifted individuals — Special Olympics athletes.
  3. Many organizations use volunteers. But only with Special Olympics Maryland can you walk out on the athletic field and see how your time and effort has made an immediate impact. All over the world, all year long, it can happen right before your eyes.

“How can volunteering improve my health?”

  • Volunteering can improve self-esteem, reduce heart rates and blood pressure, increase endorphin production, enhance immune systems, buffer the impact of stress, and combat social isolation.
  • Volunteering gives older adults an opportunity to participate in fulfilling activities, which can make a difference in the lives of others.
  • Helping to better situations for others contributes to healthy communities, volunteers feel a sense of community inclusion which has a positive impact on their health and overall well being.

Health Benefits of Volunteering, from the Corporation for National and Community Service (2007)

Volunteering can also:

  1. Build confidence as volunteers encounter a variety of new challenges when they begin giving time in their communities. Sharing new experiences with new people, they can learn new skills that can give them confidence to face challenges in other areas of their lives.
  2. Introduce you to new friends and create more fun in your life as you work together to bring about a change, become part of a community and stay in touch long after your work is done. Plus, you could meet people from a diverse range of backgrounds – people you may never come across in your daily life.

“Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead