As she was reading the news four years ago, Jo Morrow saw an ad that the Special Olympics needed volunteers for its summer program. She eagerly volunteered and never looked back. Morrow has been volunteering with Special Olympics in track and field, basketball, golf and softball. Although Morrow already plays golf, she’s learning the rest as she goes. “I enjoy showing up and the athletes recognize me,” Morrow said. “I seem to have the some of the same athletes for different sports; it’s always nice to see a friendly face.”
Morrow is finishing up a PhD and working while she finds time to volunteer. “I don’t have to think about work or school, it’s a nice de-stressor,” Morrow said. Not only has the volunteering been fun, but Morrow sees more and more athletes each year. She is currently coaching a basketball skills team, which started with about eight athletes, but that number has doubled.
Morrow has been a consistent volunteer for Special Olympics, making her viable to the program. “Jo has also always volunteered or stepped in where she hadn’t originally planned to volunteer, if I need help, she’s the one I call,” Jessica Sida, Special Olympics Coordinator, said. “Not to mention, our athletes love her.”
For Morrow, the most rewarding part of volunteering is the excitement on the athlete’s faces. “It’s exciting to see someone make a basket for the first time or sink a putt from a distance,” Morrow said. “Everyone cheers for one another, and it’s just really inspiring.”
Written by volunteer Laura Davis