Last weekend Gladney’s last two volunTEAM members returned home from Orlando. They’ve had a chance to reflect on the week and share here!
"Inspiration, dedication and being brave all come to mind when thinking about what we witnessed while attending the Special Olympics. As a volunteer, I worked in several areas and had the opportunity to meet many of the athletes. It was AMAZING to have the opportunity to speak with some of the athletes and hear their excitement! While watching the events, I was overwhelmed by their dedication and energy. Every athlete I spoke with mentioned how much fun they were having, which was one of the most heartwarming parts of this whole experience.
As I reflect on last week, I’m reminded it isn’t about winning, but being brave enough to try. The USA Special Olympics Games is a time where each athlete is able to compete and bravely show their skill in specific events. The athletes may not know this - but they inspire us too. And for this reason - I’ll surely be at the Special Olympics 2026 USA Games in Minnesota!"
Asia Program Assistant & Gladney VolunTEAM Special Olympics Project Manager
"When Gladney’s Superkids team travels to Taiwan, the overall mission is to help the children we meet become “visible” within the adoption community in order to help them be matched with adoptive parents. We are their champions. We focus on them, listen to them, learn about them and then begin our advocacy efforts. So when Gladney decided to field a corporate volunteer team to help at the Special Olympics, we asked our partner agencies in Taiwan if some of the waiting children might want to color some of the drawing pages.
It has been so awesome to receive those coloring pages back! We highlighted a few waiting children and shared the kids with their coloring pages last week during the Games. We’ll be sharing more over the next few weeks - so keep following us and keep cheering on our kids and the Special Olympics athletes! Many of the athletes are now competing in their local state competitions and we wish them well!
During our Superkids screenings, we work to capture each child’s unique talents, personality, and abilities so that the person they are can shine through in our advocacy. And, as I think about what we witnessed last week, this is exactly what we witnessed at the Special Olympics. Each athlete’s unique talents and abilities and personality were on full display! Their hard work, sportsmanship, and dedication reinforced to me that every person deserves a chance to compete, and be a winner, and shine - whether a Special Olympic athlete or a Superkid waiting for a forever family."
Lead Asia Program Caseworker & Superkids Coordinator