Have you had a chance to check out Scentsy’s new Charitable Cause Warmer, Champion? If you purchase it this season, you’ll be helping the Special Olympics, a worldwide organization that has helped thousands of people with intellectual disabilities achieve their dreams – including athletes in Scentsy’s home state of Idaho. I checked in with Matt Caropino, the sports and training manager for Special Olympics Idaho, to find out how Champion can make a difference in the lives of athletes who want to discover the champions within themselves.
It’s no small feat to go to the World Games, which will be held in PyeongChang, South Korea, in 2013. Idaho is sending three athletes: Brandon Staley of Boise will compete in snowboarding, Andrea Mousseau of Pinehurst in alpine skiing, and Jerry Smith of Bellevue in Nordic skiing. All three of these athletes won gold in their event at Idaho’s statewide competition to earn a spot at the World Games.
Special Olympics athletes at the 2011 State Winter Games
“We do not charge the athletes to go to World Games,” Caropino said. “However, Special Olympics Idaho will have to raise around $10,000 for each athlete that we send.”
That can be a hefty price tag for a non-profit. Not only does Special Olympics need money to send athletes to compete, but they need support for other services. For example, Special Olympics Idaho provides year-round training and athletic competitions in 16 Olympic-type sports to 2,700 children and adults. The organization also offers free health screenings for athletes.. As Caropino pointed out, Special Olympics “promotes healthy, active lives among a segment of individuals who are more likely to face obesity and related health problems than the general population.”
But the benefits go far beyond health when you support the Special Olympics, Caropino said.. You can see the difference “in the smiles, in the relationships formed, and in the examples set by the athletes. The world sees a new way of thinking, feeling, and acting.”
Special Olympics athletes at the Northern Idaho Area Games
When you buy Champion, you’ll be supporting your local heroes as well as Special Olympics athletes worldwide . For each warmer sold, Scentsy will donate $8 USD ($9 CAD) to Special Olympics International.
It’s not just the athletes who gain from the Special Olympics, Caropino said. “In the moments of the Special Olympics experience, the athlete is changed from a person of diminished value to a champion. And in these moments, everyone else is changed, too.”