ezStorage is proud to assist many worthwhile charitable organizations in the Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. area. This month, we are featuring The Special Olympics of Maryland. ezStorage donates the use of its storage units in Capitol Heights and storage units in Lanham to the Special Olympics. Both locations have been donating storage units to The Special Olympics for nearly 15 years. ezStorage is very happy to be able to help this great organization.
About the Special Olympics
Special Olympics of Maryland is an affiliate of the worldwide organization of The Special Olympics. The organization believes that “people with intellectual disabilities can, with proper instruction and encouragement learn, enjoy and benefit from participating in individual or team sports.” The organization was officially organized in 1968, but Eunice Kennedy was developing the program since the 1950’s. She started day camps for children who were intellectually challenged with the goal of seeing what these children COULD do in sports and other activities, not what they couldn’t do. Eunice Kennedy’s vision developed into the first International Special Olympics games held at Soldier Field in Chicago in 1968. Ever since then, the program has expanded to include over 4.4 million athletes from around the world competing in over 80,000 events and competitions. The 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games was recently held in Los Angeles after being held in other countries for over 10 years. Los Angeles hosted over 8,500 athletes and coaches from 165 countries from July 25th to August 2nd. The games featured 25 sports competitions from swimming to gymnastics to golf.
Maryland Special Olympics
The Maryland Special Olympics office is located in Arbutus, Maryland. Each county in Maryland has Special Olympics programs and offices. The vision of the Maryland affiliate is “to be the leader in lifelong and unified sports programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities, empowering athletes to be valued members of their community and respected members of society.” The Maryland Special Olympics organization serves over 7,100 athletes in the state. There are nearly 5,300 athletes in training and competition while nearly 1,900 are just in training at this time. The organization offers athletes the chance to train and compete in 27 sports in 3 sports seasons. Every county in Maryland offers opportunities for training and competition.
There are many Special Olympics fundraising events throughout the year that help to fund the organization from 5K walks/runs to the annual Polar Bear Plunge at Sandy Point State Park. The organization relies on donations and fundraisers in order to create the programs for the athletes. The majority of the donations go directly to the Maryland Special Olympics program: 84 cents of every dollar goes directly to athletic programming and training, 11 cents goes to fundraising and 5 cents goes to administrational costs. You can donate to the Special Olympics of Maryland in a variety of ways by donating your time as a volunteer, attending fundraising events or making personal gifts.