“I hope we can make a fraction of the impact they have made on us..."
Madi McIntyre and Chris Holmes have a little dilemma on their hands – figuring out how to get all their Pathfinder Piranhas Special Olympics team onto the guest list for their upcoming wedding. They joined the Pathfinders Piranhas a year ago, but the bonds created have been so rich, they say, that the Piranhas feel like family.
As a high school student in Shaler 10 years ago, Madi volunteered with students with intellectual disabilities during gym class. Her one semester gig progressed as she persuaded her guidance counselor to let her continue. Now she and Chris find themselves in a world of new activities including soccer, basketball, track & field, and unified golf. As a self-proclaimed non-athlete, Madi borrows from the motivation of her athletes.
“Whatever personal goal they have for themselves, it’s electric” she says.
Madi works in HR, Chris in insurance. They both endear the influence from their one-hour-a-week practices with the Pathfinders Piranhas as a guide to their work week. Patience, appreciating the present, and gaining perspective on what’s important are elements they both credit come from their involvement with Special Olympics.
“Once you see them get moving and really get into the flow of things, you forget everything else that’s going on and you’re really present with them,” says Madi. Chris echoes the sentiment, adding, “I almost feel selfish with how much I enjoy it.”
Honing in on this reciprocity of giving and receiving when coaching for Special Olympics, Madi is humble, saying, “I hope we can make a fraction of the impact they have made on us.”
The Three Rivers Region is purposefully taking time to reflect on our appreciation of volunteers who selflessly dedicate their time to Special Olympics. This is another touching story of the impact one volunteer has made in our community!
In case you have not been thank yet, THANK YOU!
In case you have not been thanked enough, THANK YOU!
In case you will likely volunteer again, THANK YOU!