Special Olympics is about transforming lives, including your own. It is about a spirit of giving and teamwork. It is about making your community and neighborhood a more welcoming and accepting place for people of all abilities.  It is also about creating lifelong friendships and finding a new way of thinking about others.  Our volunteers include coaches who work with athletes many times a week, the people who help organize and plan our local and state competitions, health professionals that provide free health screenings, scorekeepers, the clean-up crew, the fundraisers and those who provide administration duties in our office...just to name a few. All around Florida, Special Olympics trainings, competitions, health & fitness, and fundraising events are happening 365 days a year.  Get involved -- become a volunteer!


Below are testimonials shared with us by some of our volunteers!



Harry Rother
"Once you volunteer at any Special Olympics  Florida event, you are hooked for life. I love awarding the medals to the athletes. They light up the room with their smiles, their joy, and the way they encourage and support each other. I feel very humble by the experience."

Harry Rother
Orange County, Event Volunteer, Knights of Columbus
More than ten years involved with Special Olympics Florida



Joan Roman
"The best thing about volunteering with Special Olympics is seeing the pure joy and excitement on a new athlete's face that is wheelchair bound and has never been able to participate in any sport and even has limited access to play at recess. Watching him play has been very special."
Joan Roman

Monroe County, Coach
Three years involved with Special Olympics Florida



Casey Crist
"This organization has an incredible impact on individuals with disabilities in so many ways such as health & wellness, professionalism, skill development, social skills, etc.  I love seeing the look of accomplishment on the athletes’ faces and the relationships built with one another."
Casey Crist

Miami-Dade County, Event Volunteer
Four years involved with Special Olympics Florida



karen mauldin
"My son participates, and I love working with all the amazing athletes. My favorite part about volunteering is the smiles and excitement the athletes have for their accomplishments as well as their pure enjoyment."

Karen Mauldin
Okaloosa County, Coach
Eleven years with Special Olympics Florida



scott savel
"What I love most about volunteering is meeting and helping others. My most memorable moment was going to Seattle as a Unified partner in the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games as a bowler"

Scott Savel
Putnam County, Unified partner
Ten years with Special Olympics Florida



marcia mcadams
"Every moment I spend with our athletes is memorable. With each and every volunteer opportunity, I feel so blessed to just be a part of. The joy and smiles on the athletes' faces just to have the opportunity to compete is so rewarding. The volunteer oath sums it up perfectly... 'in giving I receive so much more in return.' "

Marcia McAdams 
Columbia County, Event Volunteer
Eighteen years with Special Olympics Florida 


jamie handy
"Volunteering with Special Olympics feels more like one big family rather than just a team. We have the most fun coaching the athletes, and seeing the joy on their faces is priceless. One of my most memorable moments is when we were in Orlando for the Special Olympics Florida State Summer Games and seeing the athletes come together for the opening ceremony and feeling liked they belong to such a strong community...because they do.  That was a beautiful sight to see."

Jamie Handy 
Duval County, Unified partner
Two years with Special Olympics Florida


kelly mangel
"I volunteer with Special Olympics Florida because I’m passionate about inclusion and the need for acceptance and understanding within our schools and students. My favorite thing about volunteering is seeing the growth within our athletes and our partners."

Kelly Mangel 
Monroe County, Coach
Two years with Special Olympics Florida 


Valerie Bauwens
"I love the global purpose of Special Olympics Florida – sports and inclusion. I like helping an athlete with new skills and opening doors to new opportunities."

Valerie Bauwens 
Miami-Dade County, Coach
Five years with Special Olympics Florida



Kerri Berenguer
"I volunteer with Special Olympics to make a difference in the lives of athletes and help them to gain confidence in themselves and their abilities. My favorite part about being a volunteer isseeing the smile on their faces as they cross the finish line, or seeing them jumping for joy as they make that basket, or seeing them make new friends with similar interest."

Kerri Berenguer 
Miami-Dade County, Coach
Four years with Special Olympics Florida


Logan Alvarez
"I have a passion to spread the message of inclusion and Special Olympics does an incredible job of reaching people. I love competing in different Unified sports where everyone works together as a team. I also enjoy working with athlete leaders and seeing how everyone’s confidence grows as we become the leaders of the inclusion revolution."

Logan Alvarez 
Miami-Dade County, Unified partner and mentor 
Eleven years with Special Olympics Florida


AJ Savysky
"I love having an opportunity to interact with the athletes! This is the best part. I enjoy striving towards new goals and competing as a Unified partner with my favorite athlete. One of my favorite memories was being part of the bowling skills competition. I received so many hugs, smiles and even tears!"

AJ Savysky 
Miami-Dade County, Unified partner
Nine years with Special Olympics Florida


Rick Schichtel
"I have seen so many people that were nonverbal, not sociable, and limited in their abilities...and then witness the transformative power of not only sports, but engaging with others while participating in fundraising and Torch Run. I know Special Olympics is not just about sports -- it’s about improvement of the entire person."

Rick Schichtel
Port St. Lucie Police Department
Twenty years with Special Olympics Florida


Jacob Sapp
"I love coaching the athletes to compete and get better at whatever sport they do. My favorite part about volunteering is going to the practices where the athletes get better and have fun."

Jacob Sapp 
Orange County, Coach
Three years with Special Olympics Florida


Silvia Haas
"I volunteer to make an impact in my community and to help change lives through sports. Being able to work with amazing like-minded volunteers makes the journey even more meaningful.My most memorable moments are watching parents realize their child is capable of doing more than anyone ever thought was possible!"

Silvia Haas 
Orange County, Coach
Seventeen years with Special Olympics Florida


Kim Burton
"I love sharing my energy with the talented athletes, and I am surrounded by a huge family with Special Olympics Florida and my local program. The rewards are endless. My favorite part of volunteering is just smiling and sharing positive energy. My favorite memories are participating in the torch run and watching each athlete win."

Kim Burton 
Orange County, Event Volunteer
Sixteen years with Special Olympics Florida


Sheldon Burns
"My favorite part of volunteering is helping the athletes participate and to have them feel included.My most memorable moment was my first time coaching. Everyone made me feel so welcomed."

Sheldon Burns 
Orange County, Coach
Three years with Special Olympics Florida



Curtis Wagner
"The reason I started volunteering -– and the reason I continue –- is the bond you form with the athletes and their parents. The smiles on their faces when they realize they can swim a lap on their own -– and realizing you may be helping.  The athletes develop more confidence that will benefit them as they grow.  If I had to pick one memory, it would be seeing a swimmer I worked with for years, swim 25 yards with no help. He had cerebral palsy and needed help keeping his head above water. But he was relentless and never stopped trying -- ultimately swimming 25 yards on his own."

Curtis Wagner 
Orange County, Coach
Twelve years with Special Olympics Florida


Angee Vega
"Every year the final leg impacts me 100 percent.  It is breathtaking. It brings you to a point where you just go 'wow'. They’re so happy to be here and so excited to see law enforcement officers run into the stadium.  It makes me feel good to see the athletes happy and with a smile on their face. People need to be aware of the athletes and to treat them with respect.

Angee Vega
Osceola County Sheriff's Office
Twenty-one years with Special Olympics Florida


Hayden Alamo
"I love being inspired by the hard work and performance of the athletes and their families."

Hayden Alamo
Hillsborough County, Event Volunteer
Two years with Special Olympics Florida