I had a wonderful opportunity to take four days away from the office to volunteer with the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games. I work for Intuit Canada that promotes and compensates employees to volunteer, up to 32 hours, for an organization of their choice. I chose to work with the Special Olympics as the nationals were being held over 5 days in St Albert, just north of Edmonton.
The games involved athletes from all across Canada participating in 7 different events. Snowshoeing and cross country skiing were held at the Strathcona Wilderness Center. Speed skating, figure skating, floor hockey were held at Servus Place in St. Albert. This is where I worked a majority of the time. All Alpine skiing events were help in Jasper at Marmot Basin. Last but not least was the curling events held at the new curling club in St Albert which was all renovated and did not look like curling rinks I’m used to! Like in St. Francois Xavier!
I met so many wonderful volunteers, athletes, friends, and families and coaches. Putting together an event of this caliber is quite amazing. I have never been involved with such an opportunity and it has definitely given me a new perspective on non-profit and volunteering. I was overwhelmed with the gratitude and spirit throughout this volunteer experience. No matter what task was given, myself and over 800 other volunteers jumped in and were happy to help in any which way needed.
All in all, the entire event was deemed to be a great success and everyone enjoyed themselves greatly. I would highly recommend taking advantage of programs with employers that allows you to jump in to a new situation with amazing organizations such as the Special Olympics. I really am so blessed to have had this opportunity!
We had over 3500 knit or crocheted scarves in the Games colors of blue and off white (with a splash of red) from all over the world. My grandma and Cousin Brittany sent a few!
I had such a good time!! So happy I took advantage of this program. I met some amazing people and athletes! Can’t wait til next year!