This week the Special Olympics World Games are in Los Angeles and Toyota volunteers are making a big impact on this historic event. More than 500 team members are participating as official volunteers at the Los Angeles Convention Center and University of Southern California. Toyota has more official volunteers than any company sponsoring the World Games.
The World Games kicked off on Saturday with a star studded Opening Ceremony at the Los Angeles Coliseum. More than 100 Toyota team members who were signed up to volunteer during the Games participated as sign bearers carrying the signs of the nation’s participating in the Games during the Parade of Athletes.
Ron Donais from TFS sales planning led the Nippon/Japan delegation and said, “It was an incredible honor to walk with the Nippon delegation into the Coliseum, I can’t think of a greater honor for a Toyota team member. It will be an experience I never forget.”
Toyota executives and Mrs. Toyoda marched side by side with the Japan delegation and the athletes noticed. “The athletes were incredibly kind and generous.” Ron added, “One athlete even began to cry when he saw who was there to support him and his teammates – there was a moment of genuine excitement and happiness.”
Beginning Monday, team members reported to volunteer and rotated in and out over the next four days. Working in various roles, volunteers drove honored guests, managed volunteers, directed spectators and athletes, presented medals, and much more.
In addition to Southern California team members, TFS brought in a volunteer from each CSC and each region who were randomly selected from the pool of people in their location who registered FY15 volunteer hours in iCARE.
Jordon Dutton from TFSB said, “Being involved in the Special Olympics has been such a rewarding and humbling experience. Seeing these athletes overcome challenges to participate in this event, made me reflect on what I can do to improve not just mine but the lives of those around me whom I have the opportunity to serve.”
Al Heredia from CSC-West described the experience as “Meaningful.” Al shared the following photo of a Team USA athlete with the quote, “Seeing the world unite looking into the eyes of true champion. Inspiring more than they’ll ever realize.
Today is the last official day for Toyota volunteers, but for many it won’t be the end of their Special Olympics experience. Many have expressed their enthusiasm for the movement and will be sharing the stories of the impact these incredible athletes have had on them for a long time.
Do you have a story from the World Games you would like to share? Please submit it to TFS_Community_Relations@toyota.com and you could be featured in an upcoming TFS in the Community article.