Wow! My sincere thanks to so many of you for volunteering for this wonderful and important event! The 74 of you who've signed up so far (at least on this RAK event page, and hopefully also directly with SOTX!) are way more that the impressive number of Random Acts volunteers, 52, who signed up last year! Unfortunately, not all 52 of them actually showed up when it came time to serve. :-( I'm hoping that all 74 of you WILL show up at this year's Summer Games! If you know that you will NOT be able to volunteer on your chosen day, PLEASE change your RSVP right now to "No," so that we won't be looking for people who are not going to be there. PLEASE!
Because earlier weather forecasts had predicted bright sunshine and about 90 degrees on Saturday, I HAD intended to remind all of you to dress appropriately for the heat and to wear sunscreen and/or a hat. But now what I'm hearing sounds more like mostly cloudy and about 85 degrees, so I'm not sure what to suggest to you. :-) There's even a small (10 - 20%) chance of rain in late afternoon, but I'm hoping that most of our shifts will have ended by then. But ya never know.
If your chosen and assigned shift is at Maverick Stadium, follow the signs to the Volunteer Registration tent, check in there, and when they give you a volunteer name tag, please also write "RAK" either under your name or on a second tag under your name tag, to make it a little easier for us to find each other. If you have any problem checking in, call me at[masked]-3242. I'm planning to arrive around noon or 12:15 on Saturday, and I'll be at awards station A-4 from about 1:00 on.
Hey, some of us are planning to go to Chop House Burgers [masked]) for a bite to eat and/or a drink right after our shifts, probably around 5:30 or 6:00. Wanna join the rest of us sweaty and grungy folks for an informal and impromptu meetup? If so, come on over! It's at 1700 W. Park Row (which is just a little south of W. Mitchell, where the stadium parking lot entrance is located), in Arlington, and is just a block west of Fielder. Please keep at least your "RAK" tags and maybe even your "SOTX" name tags on until you get there, so we can find each other, and ask where the Random Acts of Kindness folks are.
Thank you and God bless all of you who do come out for this heartwarming opportunity to help take care of our brothers and sisters who need us. I hope to meet many of you there!
P.S. -- A thought for today: "If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a month, get married. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help others." -- Chinese proverb
Every year, usually in May, many of the more than 36,000 Special Olympics athletes in the State of Texas come to the University of Texas at Arlington to compete in their Summer Games, in quite a variety of events. Last year, more than 3,000 athletes competed!
In order to enable these brave and talented athletes to do their best and have fun while doing it, the folks at Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) will need the help of many caring volunteers ̶ more than 3,500 of us. Would you like to be among these volunteers?
This year's Summer Games will be held from Thursday, May 23, through Sunday, May 26, at UTA's Maverick Stadium and other venues. Let's get a group of Random Acts of Kindness volunteers together to volunteer there on Saturday, May 25, their busiest day. If you can't make it on that day, please consider volunteering on that Thursday, Friday, or Sunday instead. But let's target that Saturday for our RAK group event.
In order to be permitted to volunteer at the SOTX Summer Games, you MUST first register at the SOTX volunteer web site, at http://www.sotx.org/competitions/summer-games-volunteer-info.html. On that page, read their advice to volunteers, then scroll down to the lists of venues, events, and shifts, and choose where, how, and at what times you'd like to help out. Note that there are several different venues, but that only the track and field events and some awards ceremonies (plus serving volunteer meals, selling souvenirs, and working at the Information Tent, though these three duties don't allow us to interact with the athletes, which is why I've never volunteered for them) will be held at UTA's Maverick Stadium, our planned site for this meetup.
Once you've made your selection, click on the shift you've chosen, then find that shift again on the Eventbrite page, plug in your number of "tickets" (i.e., volunteer slots), and click on "Register." If you're asked for a company or organization name, please enter "Random Acts of Kindness." You will then receive an e-mailed confirmation.
I do urge you to do this as soon as you can, because the more desirable volunteer shifts really do fill up, and surprisingly quickly! In fact, I'm disappointed that the track and field events that I had hoped to sign up for had already "sold out" by the time I registered, literally just hours after the list of volunteer shifts was posted online by SOTX yesterday, April 29! So I've signed up instead for the awards ceremonies (A-4) on Saturday, May 25, from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Although the time for this RAK meetup is posted above as 12:00 p.m., this is just an arbitrary time, because your actual reporting time (to the Volunteer Registration tent) will be about 15 to 30 minutes before the scheduled start of your chosen shift. So I plan to check in around 12:30, and if any of you choose time slots close to mine, let's look for each other at the Volunteer Registration tent, and let's write "RAK" on our name badges to help us find one another. (The name badges are actually kind of small, so you may need a second one to let the world know that you're with Random Acts of Kindness.) :-)
Once you have signed up on the SOTX web site and have received your confirmation, please ALSO then RSVP on this RAK event page, at the right, so we can get some idea of how many Random Acts volunteers (and guests) we'll have. But please know that signing up only here is NOT sufficient. If you do not also register on the SOTX web site, you will NOT be permitted to volunteer at this year’s Summer Games!
Volunteers must be 15 years or older to volunteer alone; 8-14 year olds must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or chaperone. But according to SOTX’s Director of Volunteer Services, “younger children and their parents are always welcome to come and be Fans in the Stands."
Thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you do for others. I'll look forward to seeing many of you in Arlington on May 25!
I'll close by sharing with you the words of the Special Olympics Volunteer Oath:
"I promise to give the time in my life so that Special Olympics athletes can have the time of their lives.
I promise to support Special Olympics not just as an expression of charity, but as a form of respect for my fellow human beings.
I promise to spread the word of volunteerism because, in giving, I receive so much more in return."