Team RWB Buffalo Volunteers with the Special Olympics

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Submitted by Team RWB Buffalo

Team RWB Buffalo and a few individuals from Rochester, recently had the honor of volunteering for the New York State Special Olympic Summer Games.  We were responsible for the scorekeeping of the throwing games, the softball toss and the turbo-jav throw, but most importantly, we were the cheerleaders.

To get out and compete is never an easy task.  It takes weeks, months, or even years of training.  There is the fear of failure, the agony of defeat, but also the joy of winning or even just finishing.  Boundaries get pushed, lifestyles change, and in the end, each of us finds our true strength.  Our families and friends encourage us to keep pushing and to reach our goals; for the Special Olympics competitors, it is no different.  They needed cheering, encouragement and a little bit of coaching that day, and we were happy to help.  We made sure they knew every throw was their best yet and that we were proud of them for competing.

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The pure heart the competitors displayed throughout the day overshadowed any competitive spirit they may have harbored in their hearts.  While each man and woman wanted to medal, they were just as happy when a friend or fellow teammate from their region held that honor.  We were also able to help turn some frowns into smiles after a bad throw.  We cheered just as loudly for those who threw 10 feet or all the way to the fence.  Those cheers and a little bit of coaching enabled the competitors to throw even farther their next attempt.  Never underestimate the power of having something to aim for either.  We would tell them to aim for one of us out in the field, and sure enough the Eagle on the field would have to duck!

Team RWB was changed for the better that day.  We weren’t there for us.  We were there for them.  We were there to help them succeed. Looking through some of the Facebook posts from our members from Saturday, I see such inspiring and happy notes:

“You have not lived a perfect day in your life until you have helped a complete stranger.”

“Every one of these men and women have an incredible outlook on life reveling in joy after a great performance!  You guys rock and I am so happy I had the chance to volunteer at the 2014 Special Olympics summer games!”

“What great day today helping at the Special Olympics! I have been saying I’d do this for years, yet I’ve never done it.  So happy Team RWB got me out there today…definitely won’t be my last time.  So very inspirational!”

If your chapter or community is fortunate enough to have the Special Olympics come to your region, definitely make the effort to volunteer.  The organizers were so very grateful for our help and we are so grateful to Team RWB for establishing this relationship across our nation.  The Special Olympics relies on volunteers to staff the events, so every man and woman counts.  Take a day, get inspired and see the world through a new set of eyes.  Remember, if you don’t feel better at the end of the day, you did it wrong.

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