Kaiser Permanente’s partnership with Special Olympics Southern California reminds us why community involvement benefits everyone.
“Volunteering should be a job requirement,” said LaToya Hargrove. “We all want the best for our communities, but if we don’t get involved and support others, then who will?” Hargrove, a Kaiser Permanente project manager working in pediatric primary care, takes special joy in volunteering for Special Olympics Southern California. In 2022, she helped greet athletes and distribute prizes to guests at Kaiser Permanente’s welcome booth.
April is National Volunteer Month — a perfect time to spotlight our partnership with Special Olympics Southern California. Kaiser Permanente is committed to building communities that are healthy, strong, and inclusive. As official health partner to Special Olympics Southern California, we support its mission to empower individuals with intellectual disabilities to participate in sports, improve their physical fitness, and inspire inclusivity in their communities.
Kaiser Permanente employees volunteer for Special Olympics events throughout the year, providing medical education and care, welcoming guests to events, and cheering on athletes from the sideline. Volunteers give athletes the support they need to participate safely in sporting events.
Volunteering improves the well-being of our communities, and it also produces personal benefits. Research shows that regular volunteering can reduce mortality and improve physical and mental well-being. That’s one reason Kaiser Permanente helps employees get involved in their communities through a robust volunteer program.
Hargrove first learned about volunteer opportunities with Special Olympics through Alicia Lin, an administrative services manager with Kaiser Permanente in Orange County. Hargrove plans on volunteering with the organization again, as the experience has inspired her in her personal life.
“These athletes are unafraid. They have shown me that anything is possible. They go out there on that field, compete in sports, and do it well. I’ve learned that I can do anything if I set my mind to it,” said Hargrove.
To volunteer for Special Olympics events in your area, visit specialolympics.org/get-involved.