Dagmar Obert of Balsam Hill celebrates Christmas in July by raising money for her chosen charity. Read her insights on her beneficiary and her answers to Balsam Hill’s questions about the virtues of generosity and compassion.
The holidays are not the only time we can embrace the spirit of generosity. In fact, we have the entire year to share our blessings with others. This July, Balsam Hill pledges to match up to $1,000 in donations to a selected charity through its Christmas in July Charity Campaign. Here is some information about the organization I intend to help, and why it has a special place in my heart.
The Special Olympics was the natural choice for me since I have a child with special needs myself. The Special Olympics provides children, teens and adults an athletic experience with others who have the same condition. During this special occasion, they can join a team and compete in an exciting sporting event.
[pullquote]The Special Olympics builds so many positive connections for the children with special needs it serves.[/pullquote]I chose this organization because it provides unique activities that are not available for children with special needs. Sometimes, people with special needs are kept in front of a TV to keep them busy and entertained. Getting them into indoor and outdoor activities like bowling, soccer, golf, skiing, snowboarding and track can help them stay healthy and give them an opportunity to interact with peers.
Established in 1968, the Special Olympics is a sports organization that provides a venue for individuals with intellectual disabilities to be more active and sociable. Offering training and competitions to over 4.2 million athletes across 170 countries, the Special Olympics has turned into a global social movement that empowers children with disabilities by helping them find their strengths and develop new skills.
I appreciate that the Special Olympics constantly makes an effort to improve its mission. For almost 20 years, its Project Unify program has been creating sport teams that break down the barrier between regular people and those with special needs. Through this project, people with and without intellectual disabilities are brought together through sports and friendly competition. The relationships that are fostered in this program make those team sports more fun and memorable.
Hundreds of thousands of people in the world participate in Unified Sports. It is heartening to learn that more US states are embracing this approach to promote the social inclusion of special needs children.
This Christmas in July, let’s donate or help out any way we can. Seeing someone struggle to do something that we take for granted is a reminder of how lucky we are. Our lives are good. We have a lot to be thankful for. Let’s always remember that. I hope you have a meaningful year helping others have a more fulfilled life.
BH: Could you tell us a bit about the cause you’re supporting and what it means to you?
Dagmar: The Special Olympics builds so many positive connections for the children with special needs it serves. It helps the mind understand rules of engagement. It builds healthy bodies by teaching kids to exercise and enjoy activities. Finally, it builds relationships with coaches, volunteers and their peers. Read This Entry