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Volunteers FAQ

What does a volunteer do?

You name it, they do it!  Special Olympics Oregon is a volunteer-driven organization, which means that we need volunteers for just about everything.  Volunteers can assist at sports competitions, coach athletes, help with fundraising, coordinate events, give office support, serve on teams in their local program and so much more!

Who can volunteer?

Individuals, groups, families... anyone can volunteer!  Volunteers ages 14 and younger are welcome, but must be accompanied by a parent or adult volunteer.

When can I volunteer?

You can volunteer YEAR-ROUND!  One of the most common misconceptions about Special Olympics is that we offer a "once-a-year" event.  In reality, Special Olympics Oregon provides year-round training and competitions for athletes across Oregon, which means we need volunteers like you all of the time.  We also have a variety of special events throughout the year that need volunteers.

What are the one day opportunities?

These positions are generally referred to as “Day Of” opportunities, where you can register to help on the day of a single competition or event. “Day Of” volunteer positions vary per sport, competition, and event. Duties can be anything from preparing sack lunches to serving as a timer at a swimming competition, setting up and cleaning up venues and so much more! You can sign up for as many “Day Of” events as you would like.

Can I volunteer with my friends?

Absolutely!  It’s fun to volunteer at an event with a friend!   Most of the time, we can schedule friends to volunteer together in the same position during the event.  Occasionally we do need to separate you – but if that’s the case, you can check in together and meet up at the end of the event.

Is there training?

  • For “day of” volunteering - most volunteer positions have training at the beginning of your shift.  There are many key volunteers at the events that provide training and support during your shift.
  • For long term volunteering – there is training when you begin your position.  There are key volunteers and staff to support you and continue providing training as needed.


Do you have week day volunteer opportunities?

Yes!  Volunteer opportunities during the week include:

  • Admin/office support in the state program office located in Portland. 
  • Assisting the local program team in your community.


Where do I have to go to volunteer?

  • Special Olympics Oregon is a grassroots, community-based organization with 33 local programs across the state. That means there is a local Special Olympics program that you can volunteer for in your community.   Visit our Local Program page to find your area.  (link)  
  • You can also volunteer at the state program level for many regional and state level competitions, special events, admin support and much more.


How old do I have to be to volunteer?

We do encourage children to volunteer with their families or community groups. After all, they are the volunteers of the future. To ensure the safety of the athletes and volunteers, we do have age guidelines to follow when thinking about bringing minors to volunteer with Special Olympics Oregon.

  • 15 and older - Can volunteer by himself/herself.
  • 12-14 years old - Must have a parent or guardian with him/her. In cases of groups (school, scout, church, etc.) we require one adult for every four 12-14 year olds in the group.
  • 11 and younger - Will not be assigned a volunteer task, but are invited to be fans in the stands, while accompanied by a parent/guardian.


Assistant coaches must be 16 years or older.  Head coaches must be 18 years or older.

Can I show up to an event and volunteer without registering?

You can show up during the event without registering, but a volunteer position is not guaranteed.  Report to the Volunteer Check-in area and you will be assigned a volunteer position if available.  Or if it’s a sports competition, you can always be a “fan in the stands”.

How can I sign up to volunteer?

Go to the volunteer page and review the volunteer opportunities.  Next, decide how you would like to get involved, where you would like to volunteer and/or which events interest you.  Each of the opportunities has information about how to get involved.


 



 
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