ELKINS — Local grocery store Shop N’ Save went above and beyond to donate money to the local Special Olympics. Of the nine counties Shop N’ Save is established, only five of the counties host Special Olympics.
According to the Special Olympics West Virginia website, “Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded the Special Olympics with a vision that individuals with intellectual disabilities were far more capable in sports and physical activity that many experts believed possible. In 1968, Mrs. Shriver organized the first Special Olympics International Games in Chicago. Three athletes from Special Olympics WV were among the participants.”
The mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults, giving them the same opportunities as others, as stated by the SOWV website.
SOWV claims West Virginia serves over 4,000 registered athletes who train and compete in year-round programs in 18 different sports for the Special Olympics.
All coaches and trainers are volunteers who want to make a difference and be a part of something bigger than themselves. Anyone can volunteer under few specifications, including military service members and more. The activities involved give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship.
Sherry Sturm, Public Relations Coordinator for the Elkins Shop N’ Save branch, put together the donation process to donate $1,000 to each of the five counties for a total of $5,000.
“The Special Olympics is something we feel is quite often overlooked, so we just wanted to give back to community with the opportunity presented to us,” said Sturm. “It just feels so good to help others, especially when it’s something or someone who doesn’t get enough recognition on a regular basis. We appreciate the opportunity to do so.”
Thank you to all small-town businesses and establishments who go out of their way to help communities. Working together can really make a difference in the world and encourage others to do the same.