Our ‘Blues Caring Crew’ Join The Special Olympics For a Game Of Softball
Mary Shamblin of the Blues Caring Crew worked with Jim Taylor, the Director of Development for Special Olympics West Michigan, to coordinate a softball game July 25 at the Fellowship Greens softball fields in Kentwood. Both the Blues and people with special needs participated.
The Blues’ team was no match for the Cardinals, the Special Olympics’ division one team that is Nationals-bound in August, falling 16-5.
Sports are a great way to unify people, since they blur issues of race, gender and ethnicity in favor of simply playing the game. Although this event was sports-related, the true mission of Special Olympics is to help people with intellectual disabilities participate and receive respect as members of their communities.
Through this program, individuals gain self-confidence and prove their own capabilities. Ultimately, it acts as a catalyst for social change and building more unified communities in which each member, regardless of ability, is welcomed with open arms. Every person is invaluable, contributing to the strength and connectedness of their community.
The missions of BCBSM and Special Olympics fit hand in hand: Both are focused on promoting diversity throughout communities and respecting all community members on an equal level. This is what makes the two organizations such a great pair.
Although Michigan has one of the largest Special Olympics programs in the U.S., with over 20,670 participants, the organization is quickly emerging as a global phenomenon. More than 750,000 volunteers and 300,000 coaches worldwide contribute both their time and expertise to help Special Olympics reach as many athletes as possible. The organization offers 32 Olympic-time summer and winter sports to more than 3.5 million athletes in 226 programs in 170 countries.
The Blues will continue to partner with organizations to promote acceptance and healthy habits across communities in order to strengthen and enhance the lives of all community members.