The Special Olympics, P&G and all of Us

07.15.11

Over the course of the last month I’ve spoken to everyone I know about the Special Olympics. I’ve found facts about it that I hadn’t before known, I’ve been moved by stories of success and sat at my desk cheering GO TEAM KNOX.

Through my work with Procter and Gamble and their Thank You Mom campaign I’ve had opportunities to talk to large audiences online and in conference rooms what giving back can mean. I was able (just yesterday) to tell a group of bloggers that P&G asked the athlete’s moms what they wanted and that they wanted P&G to donate money to the Special Olympics.

I learned to ask questions kindly and gently. I’m still not sure that I’m as comfortable as I’d like to be, but I think that’s okay. I think it’s important to be a little extra sensitive, because we all know I can pop off at the mouth and it never leads to anything good.

We see the world through Mom Colored Glasses, and here at 41 I look at the athletes and I see a family. I can’t help it, I imagine myself cheering Jane or Alexander over hurdles and through long swims. I imagine the Moms of the Special Olympics cheer just the same. I see the world a little differently.

I’m glad the folks at P&G do too. They’ve hit their interactive goal and $250,000 has been donated to the Special Olympics to honor the Moms. I want to thank all of you who have joined the Thank You Mom facebook page, and if you haven’t yet, I’d encourage you to do so.

So the next time you hear “Thank You Mom” maybe you’ll be like me, and think ooh that’s for all us moms.

She Swims With a Smile

07.12.11

This is part of a series brought to you by P&G to support the Special Olympics if you don’t click through to YouTube and thumb this one up then I know you’re made of stone.

The Special Olympics is Tough Stuff

06.24.11

When the folks from P&G asked me to write a series of blog posts about their relationship with the Moms of Special Olympians I replied pretty quickly with Sure. I thought it would be easy to talk to y’all about how P&G supports The Special Olympics, most specifically the Moms. It’s the easiest ask in the world, every time you leave a comment, like or share the Thank You Mom campaign on facebook Procter and Gamble will donate a dollar (up to $250,000) to support Team USA’s journey to Athens.

No brainer, slam dunk.

But it hasn’t been easy. I’ve written and deleted a half dozen posts because I’m scared to write the wrong thing. I’ve been terrified of writing the wrong thing about the families or the kids. Which is actually a really great example of how The Special Olympics benefits us all. I don’t know how I’m supposed to talk about someone else’s child who has special needs.

This is a discussion worth having, but it isn’t one that I’d be initiating here if I wasn’t involved with the Special Olympics. It’s an issue I’d have continued to sidestep and avoid because I am terrified of being hurtful. When the Special Olympics come around it’s like we all have these athletes to cheer for, and they’re all our heroes and Moms like me can ask questions that we might not otherwise find the words for.

I guess what I’m hoping for here is input from all of you. Many of you have children who are competing in the Special Olympics. How does a mom like me keep her foot out of her mouth? How do I tell you how very much I admire you without sounding patronizing or like I pity you? How can a blogger like me, support a community like yours?

 

I’m That Mom from the Commercial

05.31.11

Last night I was watching TV with Mr G when a Thank You Mom commercial came on. Since we live in the house that TV built we love a commercial, and I said to Mr G, that! That commercial is my campaign. I’m that mom.

He looked at me, a little puzzled and said, “What do you mean you’re that mom?”

“Honey, I’m totally that mom. And that is MY CAMPAIGN because I’m using my blog to talk about the Moms and the Special Olympics and P&G and OhMyGawdHoneyIsn’tItTheBestSetOfCommercialsEver?”

And then he sort of looked at the ceiling. I guess he’s still looking for leaks.

So I added, “I mean, besides the ones that you make.” And then we were happy.

Please don’t forget that whenever you like, share or comment on a Thank You Mom page on Facebook another dollar is donated to support Team USA’s travel to Athens.

 

I’m Embarking on a Campaign of Listening

05.18.11

 

This week I had a phone call with Procter and Gamble (P&G) and they gave me a brief overview of their Thank You Mom campaign as it relates to the Special Olympics this summer in Athens. P&G has made a significant donation of $250,000 to the Special Olympics to support it’s local programs and services.

As is their tradition P&G reached out to the Mothers of the Athletes to ask how they could best partner with them. This group of mothers simply wants to ensure that their children are able to compete. This group of moms would like nothing more than to see the games supported.

As a mom I was a little surprised by this so I decided to poke around the internet and see if any of these mothers had written anything.

I should have known that one of my most devoted members of my community would write a post so ordinary about a day so extraordinary that I’d be teary eyed and smiling reading it. Cathy is the mom of Cody, an athlete in the special olympics. She writes:

At some point while waiting for his third and final race of the day, the 1 kilometer walk, he looked at his Dad and said, I want to win. I get a little teary as I write that. It’s so much more than I can express in words. Cody has never cared about winning or being the best at anything, not because he doesn’t give a darn, but because he just wasn’t made that way. In most cases, that’s been a good thing, sometimes it’s a gift that autism gave us rather than taking something away.

I wasn’t sure how to introduce this campaign to y’all, so I thought I’d embark on a campaign of listening. My community is diverse, but we all share a special tenderness. I can’t be the only person who was reading at her computer and silently cheering for Cody to win the whole shebang.

The Olympics has united nations, wars have been paused so that men and women can compete. Just as we honor our Olympic athletes I’m getting excited about our Special Olympics Athletes. Oh, and their moms. You cannot ignore Mom when you look at an athlete of any age. I’m sorry but if I helped you learn to walk that means I helped you learn to run. [okay maybe a little selfish but that’s just me projecting]

Procter and Gamble  also went on a campaign of listening and to honor the Moms of the athletes competing in the upcoming Special Olympics World Summer Games another $250,000 will be donated to support Team USA’s travel to Athens, assuming y’all help. In order to get this next quarter of a million dollars we (you and I) are being asked to like the Thank You Mom campaign on facebook. Every time you like, share or leave a comment on the page another dollar is added to the gift.

This post is brought to you from my partnership with P&G.