Give Back MKE: Special Olympics Wisconsin

Here’s why you should consider donating to Special Olympics Wisconsin as part of Give Back Milwaukee.

For nearly 50 years, Special Olympics Wisconsin has been creating more accepting communities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID).

Familiar with Special Olympics as they may be, most Milwaukeeans probably don’t realize the city’s proximity to the genesis of what is now a worldwide movement that includes more than 5 million athletes in 172 countries.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of Special Olympics and sister of President John F. Kennedy, initiated the movement when she held the first Special Olympics International Summer Games at Soldier Field in Chicago on July 20, 1968.

Kennedy Shriver’s sister Rosemary lived most of her life at St. Coletta of Wisconsin in Jefferson and her life with an intellectual disability is often credited as inspiring the creation of Special Olympics. The first Wisconsin state event took place in West Allis in 1969, just a year after those first fateful Special Olympics Games in Chicago.

Now, Special Olympics is a full-scale Inclusion Revolution. 

With your support, we are paving the way for a more inclusive society where individuals with ID are accepted, valued and empowered members of their communities. Together, we are creating an #InclusionRevolution.


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  • 9,305 incredible athletes breaking down barriers and bringing home hardware
  • 2,955 Unified Partners demonstrating the power of inclusion and friendship through Unified Sports
  • 1,961 FREE health screenings performed to identify health needs and bridge gaps in access to quality health care
  • 137 exhilarating sports competitions where athletes and Unified Partners showcased talent and teamwork
  • 108 Unified Champion Schools that have made a commitment to say yes to inclusion and no to bullying
  • 173 trained athlete leaders who use their platforms to advocate on behalf of Special Olympics and people with ID
  • $0 to participate in Special Olympics Wisconsin

The average cost to support one athlete for one year is $757. All donations stay in Wisconsin to benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Wisconsin.

“Special Olympics Wisconsin has given me more courage to do things and more of a sense of purpose.”


– Marquis Garner, Milwaukeean, Published Author and Special Olympics WI Athlete

This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s December issue.

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