A Letter to Special Olympics Oregon family from our CEO

Special Olympics Oregon family,

This past weekend, I found myself feeling overwhelmed with everything happening in Oregon; it started to feel like too much.  It’s one thing to be dealing with a global pandemic going on seven months and the emotion that comes with a social justice movement – but now wildfires that are ravaging our state?  I asked myself how much our communities and families can handle.  I wondered if and when we will be able to rebuild and return to “normal”.

I then started to ponder the word “normal”.  I want to share a virtual poem I read by Leslie Dwight:

What if 2020 isn’t cancelled?

What if 2020 is the year we’ve been waiting for?

A year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, so raw –

That it finally forces us to grow.

A year that screams so loud, finally awakening us

From our ignorant slumber.

A year we finally accept the need for change.

Declare change.  Work for change.  Become the change.

A year we finally band together, instead of

Pushing each other further apart.

2020 isn’t cancelled, but rather

The most important year of them all.

I think that for this to be true, we have to make it true.  We need to lead with kindness, give each other the benefit of the doubt, and be the change we want to see in the world.

For those feeling isolated amidst a global pandemic – Special Olympics Oregon is a place for you to engage and connect through SOOR Active.  For those fighting for diversity, equity, and inclusion – we stand with you as those values are at the core of our mission.  For our friends and loved ones impacted by the wildfires – we are here to support you and help you rebuild.

We were on the receiving end of an outpouring of love and support when we went through a very difficult rebuild of our organization.  In our darkest hour, we found out just how resilient and strong we can be when we stand together, united.   Our Special Olympics Oregon family is at the ready to be a part of the solution in Oregon to ensure that 2020 will be the most important year of them all.

Britt Carlson Oase, Chief Executive Officer