Support Special Olympics athletes in Ukraine

Dear Special Olympics Pennsylvania Family:

Everyone is well aware of the horrific situation unfolding in Ukraine. Pennsylvania has the 2nd largest Ukrainian American community in the United States. Iโ€™m sure many of you have wondered how, or even if, you can help. There is now a way you can support Special Olympics athletes in need!

I have been working with the Managing Director for Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia exploring ways we can assist. SOPA is going to form a partnership with the Krasnobrod Center in southern Poland that has been helping refugees with intellectual disabilities fleeing Ukraine. This center is just across the border from the Ukrainian city of Lviv.

Before the pandemic and the war, SO Ukraine had 13,885 athletes. Special Olympics PA has committed to providing $13,885 ($1 for every athlete) to support SO Poland and this center. We are asking the entire SOPA family to join us in โ€œmatchingโ€ this support by donating whatever you can here:

By working together, we hope to generate up to $27,770 โ€“ enough funding to support this center for the next year.

The SOPA family has always been generous and has always stepped up to help other SO Programs in need. You did it when a tornado hit Joplin, Missouri. You did it when an earthquake hit Haiti. And, you did it when Hurricane Sandy devastated SO New York. Now, Iโ€™m asking you to do it again to help meet the urgent, acute, and growing needs created by this refugee crisis.

In coming weeks, we will explore additional ways to engage and connect our SOPA athletes and volunteers with the athletes and families at the Krasnobrod Center. For now, financial assistance is the most meaningful way we can help.

Thank you for your generosity,

Matthew B. Aaron

President & CEO, Special Olympics Pennsylvania

Special Olympics athletes help celebrate drive thru Wawa opening

Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of being invited to the grand opening of Wawa‘s first standalone DriveThru store! Several of our athletes as well as our President & CEO Matt Aaron were in attendance to help open the store. Included among our athletes in attendance were John & Maria, both of whom are proud Wawa employees! Be sure to stop by your local Wawa to warm up with some Gold Medal Hot Chocolate and support the #InclusionRevolution!

Join us for the LIVE Virtual Beaver Stadium Run!

๐—›๐—ฒ๐—น๐—น๐—ผ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐Ÿญ๐Ÿญ๐˜๐—ต ๐—”๐—ป๐—ป๐˜‚๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ฃ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ผ ๐—™๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—น๐˜† ๐—•๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ฆ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐˜‚๐—บ ๐—ฅ๐˜‚๐—ป, ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฏ๐˜† Sheetz! ๐Ÿค๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿฆ

While we’re so sad we can’t all be together in Happy Valley on this BEAUTIFUL Sunday, we’re excited that we have the ability to gather virtually and celebrate the things that make this event so meaningful to so many people. We’re overjoyed by the number of virtual participants we’ve seen register so far. Words can’t express how much your support means to the nearly 20,000 Special Olympics athletes throughout the state.

We now invite you to grab some brunch, find a comfortable spot on the couch and join us as we present this year’s VIRTUAL Beaver Stadium Run! And remember… WE ARE — Stronger Together!!

#VirtualBSR | #InclusionRevolution

SOPA News Roundup

It’s been a fantastic week for Special Olympics Pennsylvania competition and events throughout the state… Here’s a look at what we’ve been up to!

From 6-WJAC: Special Olympics athletes prepare for Winter Games; invitational held this weekend

From The Tribune-Democrat: ‘Inspirational’ athletes compete at Special Olympics invitational

From Fox 43: Hundreds brave the freezing water for the 15th Annual Capital Area Polar Plunge in Yorkย County

From WFMZ-69 News: Special Olympics bowlers roll into the Lehigh Valley

From the Altoona Mirror: Taking the Plunge (Winter Games Polar Plunge)

Photo courtesy The Tribune-Democrat

Joe Haden & Steelers donate to SOPA

Earlier this month, we received a $2,500 donation from Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Joe Haden, which was matched by Steelers Charities. The funds come thanks to the NFL’s Social Justice Initiative. The support we get from the Steelers and their players is absolutely incredible. Our athletes and volunteers thank you!

To read more about the NFL’s Social Justice Initiative, click here.

Joe Haden walks onto the field with Special Olympics PA athletes at the 2019 Steelers Family Fest