Special Olympics says “It’s OK to re-gift”

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special-olympicsSpecial Olympics Southern California is celebrating its 40th birthday and is going green by accepting unused (and unexpired!) gift cards.  What Miss Manners might view as a “no-no,” Special Olympics sees as a great way to help defray the costs associated with running its programs.

“Gas cards can be used to help transport our athletes to competitions, grocery cards help defray expenses for snacks and food at practice, and coffee cards can supply refreshments for our hard-working volunteers.  I believe we can find a good use for just about any gift card that exists,” said Bill Shumard, President & CEO, Special Olympics Southern California.  “In addition to individuals, we welcome groups and organizations who would like to do gift card drives for Special Olympics.  Many of us have unused gift cards, and this is an easy way to make a real difference without having to dip into your checking account.”

Re-gifted cards will be collected at the 2009 Summer Games at Cal State Long Beach, June 13 and 14, at the Information Booths near the Pyramid and at Expo Park.  Cards also can be mailed or delivered to Special Olympics Southern California, 6730 E. Carson St., Long Beach, CA 90808. 

Examples of cards that are needed (not an all-inclusive list):

  • Home improvement or retail stores to purchase supplies for sporting events.
  • Sporting goods to purchase equipment.
  • Grocery or restaurant cards to supply food for athletes and volunteers.
  • Office supply store cards for paper, ink cartridges and other necessities of doing business.
  • Clothing store cards to purchase sports attire for athletes or for silent auctions.
  • Gas cards to defray the costs of transportation to competitions.
  • Hotel cards for overnight accommodations for athletes and staff.

Special Olympics Southern California is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2009.  The “It’s OK to Re-Gift” program is starts during Summer Games week and will continue indefinitely.  For more info, visit www.sosc.org.


About Special Olympics Southern California

In 2009, Special Olympics Southern California celebrates 40 years of changing lives through the power of sport. Special Olympics offer opportunities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities to participate in year-round sports training and competition. Founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to develop fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy as they participate in the sharing of gifts and friendship with other athletes, their families and the community.  For more information about how to compete, volunteer, coach or donate to Special Olympics Southern California, visit www.sosc.org.

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