Businessolver Blog

Part of the Team – A Special Olympics Story

Part of the Team – A Special Olympics Story
Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2016 by [email protected]
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As Businessolver wraps up charitable activities for the first quarter of the year, we wanted to share one last Solver Story from Taylor Tufte, Professional Development Program Representative:

Brooke.jpg“When I was four years old I was blessed with the best Christmas present a girl could ask for, a 10-pound baby sister named Brooke. A couple of months later my parents realized something was off. She wasn’t able to hold her head up, sit up, or open her right hand. After many doctors visits they were able to diagnose her with cerebral palsy. As an unborn baby she had a mini stroke, which caused bleeding in her brain that affected her both mentally and physically. We were told she wouldn’t be able to walk or function as a normal person in society.

For the next few years Brooke went through a lot. She had physical therapists, occupational therapists, doctors, and many other professionals came to our house to help her. She went through many extreme surgeries on her legs, feet, and hips and slowly started to learn to walk and get around. (Today my mom likens her walking ability to a drunken sailor.) Because being active and participating in sports was so important to my family, they got Brooke involved in activities that were adaptive to her special needs. She started to ride horses and have swimming lessons, however, something was always missing. The feeling of inclusion and being a part of a team was not there. This is when Special Olympics came into our lives.

As a freshman at Iowa State University I decided to join a sorority. When I joined Sigma Kappa I had no idea that philanthropy would become such a big part of my life. Each year individual chapter houses had their own events to raise money for the philanthropy of their choice. However, once a year the whole Greek community got together for Greek Week and would collectively raise money for Special Olympics. Each year I would raise money and participate in the Polar Bear Plunge. It wasn’t until my junior year when I was asking my parents for donations that we discussed signing my sister up to compete in the Special Olympics.

Today Brooke is 19 and actively competing in distance walking competitions and softball throwing events. Special Olympics has given my sister a place to work hard, connect with others, be a winner, and feel included. It has been extremely inspiring to watch and get to be a part of such a great organization that not only touches the athletes, but EVERYONE who is involved.

I have to say that when I started at Businessolver seven months ago I did not know that I was going to have the opportunity to bring this amazing organization into our company. I would like to give a huge thanks to everyone who donated their money, time or both. Because of you, people like Brooke have the opportunity to develop physical fitness, friendship, and confidence.”

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Throughout the last quarter, we have been working to raise money for Special Olympics. Together our Des Moines and Denver offices were able to donate over $4,000 to Special Olympics. Each office had a Special Olympics athlete come on site and share their inspiring experience, making a lasting impact on us all. We look forward to working with this empowering organization that has had an impact on so many of our lives!