When I talk with new Special Olympics Texas employees, I start by telling the story of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and her boundless love for her sister Rosemary, who had an intellectual disability. That love expressed itself in many ways, but one way in particular changed the world for millions of people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Seeing the lack of athletic and other opportunities available to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, she decided to do something about it, starting out by starting a summer day camp for young people in her backyard. That simple decision, 44 years later, has grown into a program that spans more than 170 countries, and serves nearly 4 million athletes worldwide. More than 44,000 of those athletes are right here in Texas!
This Saturday, September 22, people around the world will celebrate the 3rd Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day (EKS Day), honoring the inspiration, impact and indomitable spirit of the founder of the Special Olympics movement.
EKS Day is an annual celebration of the life of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and a global call for people to commit actions of inclusion, acceptance and unity for and with people with intellectual disabilities. Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s actions helped open the minds and hearts of all people to the gifts and talents of individuals with intellectual disabilities. As the founder of Special Olympics, she demonstrated that one person could make a difference and change the world… she certainly did just that.
Several of our SOTX areas will celebrate EKS Day while conducting athletic competitions. Please come cheer on the athletes as they show the world exactly what they can do. And when you join us on Saturday, please wear green!
Please join us in celebrating this remarkable woman’s legacy, not just on EKS Day, but every day. Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are members of our communities and they can make wonderful contributions to society. Please commit acts of unity and inclusion with our Special Olympics athletes and become an agent of acceptance and action throughout the world.
To learn more about Special Olympics Texas' efforts, visit www.specialolympicstexas.org. To learn more about EKS Day activities throughout the world, visit www.eksday.org.