Get Involved

Volunteers are the backbone of the Special Olympics Movement.  They represent all ages and their involvement can range from an afternoon to a lifetime. Here in the District of Columbia we have several volunteer opportunities, each with a different time commitment as noted in the brief descriptions below

Volunteer Opportunity Spotlight for May:

Volunteer for the 2017 Summer Games!

The Summer Games is our largest Special Olympics District of Columbia sport event of the year. More than 800 athletes along with coaches, volunteers, chaperones, family members, and spectators attend each year.

Summer Games will be held from May 16-24 at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Come and join our athletes during our Summer Games as they demonstrate their courage and determination over seven days of sport competition.

Over 1000 volunteers are needed to assist with the games. Volunteers  assist with set-up and clean-up, event logistics, competitions, scorekeeping, athlete registration, and awarding. Volunteers must be age 14+, unless accompanied by a parent, guardian, or chaperone.  In addition, volunteers are needed to serve on the Games Management Team and assist with competition, fundraising, logistics, media, and volunteer recruitment.

Click here to register to volunteer for Summer Games.

Download the

2017 Summer Games Schedule (PDF, 7.1 MB) Special Olympics DC Summer Games Volunteer Opportunities (PDF, 337.2 KB)

These are year-round volunteer opportunities:

  • Sport Management Team
    Sport management team members assist in the development and implementation of sport training and competition plans that enhance each sport so that they are consistent with Special Olympic Guidelines. Individuals who have a specific sport expertise are placed into roles that enable SODC to grow and develop the sport to benefit the community.
  • Volunteer Coaches
    Special Olympics coaches are role models and character-builders with prior knowledge and experience in the sport who are willing to teach the skills and help develop the spirit that defines a true athlete.   Volunteers without prior knowledge and experience in a specific sport can be Assistant coaches and learn on the job.
  • Special Event Committee Volunteers
    Special Olympics produces multiple events throughout the year from fundraising events, sporting championships and more, and each one has an organizing committee made up of many hands working together to make the event successful.  Use your talents in a number of different roles: party planning, logistics, data entry, PR/marketing, recruiting, website/social media, and more.  If you have a few hours per week over several weeks, and are interested in working with a team, you’ll be able to make a big impact.
  • Unified Partners
    Unified Sports is an inclusive sports program that combines an approximately equal number of special Olympic athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities) and Unified Partners (individuals without intellectual disabilities) on teams for training and competition. An important note for those volunteering in this group is that the partner’s skill level does not matter. If you are a beginner, you will play with the beginners, if you are advanced, you will play with the advanced. If there is a mixture of abilities, Special Olympics DC will form equal teams with a mixture of abilities.
  • Young Professionals Council
    Special Olympics District of Columbia (SODC) is recruiting members for its inaugural Young Professionals Council (YPC). If you’re interested in supporting one of the District’s most recognizable and impactful nonprofits, giving back to your community, and networking with other young business and civic leaders in DC, then the YPC is for you. Ideal candidates will be 25-35 years old, driven to commit time and energy to SODC’s mission of providing year-round sports training and competition to those with intellectual disabilities, and eager to build a professional and personal network of other talented young professionals. Click here for more information.

Contact our office for more information about getting involved with Special Olympics programs in the District of Columbia: +1 (202) 408-2640