Special Olympics Texas Works to Track Down Athletes and Members Affected by Hurricane Harvey

The organization is calling for athletes, families and coaches to provide a status update.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : September 01, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas – As victims of Hurricane Harvey return to the affected areas, Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) is working to track down its athletes, families, coaches and volunteers that were impacted by the recent disaster. All affected members, if able, are urged to visit www.sotx.org/harvey  to provide a quick update on their whereabouts and how the storm has impacted them, so that the organization can devise ways to provide aid.

SOTX Interim President and CEO Suzanne Anderson said that the next few months will be a great challenge, both for the organization and its extended family.

“Although many of our athletes, families, volunteers and staffers in these areas have suffered terrible losses, I know that they possess an inner strength that may defy the understanding of others. There are great challenges ahead for all of us, but we will get through them together,” Anderson said.

Thus far, Harvey has forced SOTX to cancel multiple upcoming competitions in several areas where Harvey made landfall and postpone several fundraising events. At the moment, SOTX intends to host all scheduled competitions in the impacted areas, but will work with the host staff as venues are evaluated during the aftermath period. Updates on potential cancellations or postponements will be communicated online and on social media. Reestablishing an athletic routine for SOTX athletes is a priority.

“We will start hosting competitions in the affected areas as soon as possible,” Anderson said. “Our athletes need that sense of normalcy and to be able to reconnect with their friends.”

The biggest takeaway that Anderson has for athletes, volunteers, coaches and other supporters: “We are here. We will always be here for you.”


Houston-area SOTX athlete Marcus Gary used his kayak to help rescue people and pets from flooded homes this week.

During Harvey, SOTX members have come to the aid of those in this dire time of need. Earlier this week, Houston-area athlete Marcus Gary, a kayaker among many other sports, used his kayak to help rescue people and pets from flooded homes in west Houston.

Members of the law enforcement community – the biggest private fundraisers for SOTX, and some of the most loyal friends SOTX athletes will ever know – have been working non-stop since before Harvey made landfall. “I want you to know that we see you,” Anderson said. “Thank you.”

Across the Beaumont, Coastal Bend, Greater Houston and Gulf Coast areas, SOTX serves more than 14,350 children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

For more information on how to help SOTX members that were affected by Harvey, visit www.sotx.org/harvey.

Steve Helm – Public Relations Coordinator, Special Olympics Texas
800.876.5646, ext. 2925 (office); 267.421.3911 (cell – media only); shelm@sotx.org

About Special Olympics Texas
Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) is a privately funded non-profit organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect.  SOTX provides continuing opportunities for more than 58,800 children and adults with intellectual disabilities throughout the Lone Star State to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship.  To learn more, visit www.specialolympicstexas.org or call 800.876.5646.  Engage with us on: Twitter @SOTexas; fb.com/SpecialOlympicsTX; youtube.com/specialolympicstexas.