Volunteering can be an eye opening experience

Published 7:00 am Thursday, February 15, 2018

Soon, Kiwanis Club of Greater Picayune Area will host its 36th annual Special Olympics at the Picayune Memorial High School football stadium.

The event provides an opportunity for children and adults with disabilities to participate in several track and field events, which not only gives them a chance to interact socially but is also a great opportunity for members of the community to volunteer.

Organizers of the event are looking for more volunteers to assist athletes as they compete against each other. 

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Each time members of the local Kiwanis Club organize this annual event, they ensure every participant has the time of their lives while also feeling equally special and involved.

Participating in the Special Olympics gives our special needs citizens an opportunity to participate in activities most of the rest of us already enjoy.

The hurdle is, some of these participants will need a helping hand to get through each event. As a result, the Club is seeking volunteers to provide the assistance each individual athlete will need to give their best effort.

During my time in this town, I’ve had the opportunity to attend two events that allowed me to interact with the differently abled citizens of the community. One was an event held by the ARC of Pearl River County and another was a cookout organized by the Rotary Club of Picayune.

Back when I volunteered in Dubai, I was emotionally affected while working with disabled individuals.

My emotions eventually led to me to stop volunteering for the past six years. But today my job at times requires me to engage in situations that may be emotional.

Today, I am proud to say that I can attend one of the events without feeling sorry for individuals who may not be as physically able as most of the population. Instead I see their spirit and how that trait brings joy to not only themselves, but those around them.