Volunteers are the backbone of the Special Olympics Florida movement. They enable Special Olympics to offer sports training and competition and provide our athletes with the opportunity to grow and showcase their skills.

When you volunteer, you join an international family of people from all walks of life who gain a greater understanding of and appreciation for people with intellectual disabilities through their participation. The Special Olympics movement can ultimately transform communities by inspiring people throughout the world to open their minds, accept and include people with intellectual disabilities and thereby celebrate the similarities common to all people.

Special Olympics Florida would not exist today without the time, energy, dedication, and commitment of our volunteers. Those year-round and day-of volunteers work at various levels and fill a wide variety of roles in our programs.

Below is a broad description of the activities in which the majority of volunteers participate. This will give you a basic overview of the responsibilities associated with the different assignments and general understanding of the time commitment required. Remember, the specifics of the actual assignment are certain to vary according to the individual program requirements within each county. Contact your local county director for more information and to get involved.

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CategoryDescription Approx. Amount of Time Required
CoachingWorks directly with athletes to improve their skills in specific Special Olympics sports.Seasonal, dependent on sport. Flexible hours. Minimum of 2 hours per week for 8 weeks prior to competition.
Sports Management TeamsPlan, develop, implement and/or monitor sports programs, activities, events and/or competitions.Ranges from approximately 2-3 months for specific sports or events to one year for overall management of programs.
Administration and GuidanceMembership on boards, councils, committees to plan, coordinate and/or monitor activities to promote the Special Olympics mission.Minimum year commitment involving regularly scheduled meetings as well as assignments associated with position.
Public Information & PromotionPrepare and/or convey information about Special Olympics to various groups through any of several ways including newsletters, publicity and speaking engagements.Flexible hours ranging from very short and intense (speaking engagements) to several months depending on specific activity (e.g., develop a promotional brochure).
FundraisingPlan and/or implement activities to raise financial and in-kind support through presentations, organizing and/or participating in special events.3-4 hours at a one-time, single event to a minimum of one year as a committee member.
Day of VolunteerPerform short-term tasks associated with conducting major events involving a variety of activities and large number of athletes and guests: officiate sporting events, escort athletes, provide security, assist with meal distribution, equipment set-up general hospitality.Usually 4-8 hours at the actual event with 3-4 hour orientation prior to activity.