Get Ready for the 2016 Olympics

When I hear those first big booms of the Olympic theme song, my heart rate always quickens and I swell with national pride. Every two years when that torch is lit again, I’m reminded of the sense of community that prevails whenever we support one another’s dreams. Today is the day that the 2016 Summer Olympics open in Rio, and because the dream of working hard toward a personal goal is an idea that’s well-known worldwide, I want to celebrate the event with you, too.

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I hope to witness all of the big moments that will happen during these exciting 17 days, but at the same time, I really don’t want to be glued to the TV screen (and I really, really don’t want my son to be)! That’s why having the games on in the background of our home while we participate in other kid-friendly themed activities – like these seven projects listed by Goodwill Industries of Michiana (South Bend) – is perfectly appealing. We get to be a part of the festivities, but we’ll feel inspired and productive instead of overcome with that drained feeling that accompanies hours in front of a TV screen. Plus, an Olympic rings tee-shirt like this (use a thrifted shirt as the base to keep the project eco-friendly!) would be such a wonderful keepsake to remember the event by after it has ended.

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Feeling inspired by the globe’s best athletes? You can be one, too! No, really… you can be! You’re the only one holding you back, so grab some workout wear and get moving. Athletic attire can be incredibly expensive, but if you want to be able to move easily and feel motivated to continue your chosen sport, it really is important to have the right clothing. Checking Goodwill for workout clothes is the best way to get great, functional pieces and you don’t have to feel badly about sweating in something expensive. Hank from WROR recently found this Lululemon sweatshirt that retails for more than $100 at a Goodwill in Boston for less than $3! What’s waiting on your Goodwill rack?

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Over at Goodwill Columbus (OH), the Special Olympics is thriving, too! Through this program, adults with developmental disabilities are encouraged to seek competitive athletics to feel the exhilaration and pride that come with hard work. The goal is to help participants gain independence and confidence while playing a variety of sports at local, state, regional, national, and even international levels. Click the link to learn more about this wonderful program and the even more spectacular people involved.

The Olympic Games have always been about the universally recognized themes of possibility, perseverance, and hard work. That a person can practice determination and accomplish their dream is one of the great hopes we all – no matter our nationality or abilities – have in common. For some, that dream may be as simple as getting a job to support themselves without having to rely on their family, friends, or government assistance to pay the bills. This is where Goodwill steps in. At a time when the government is challenged to find enough dollars to meet human service needs, Goodwill meets many of them by applying basic business principles to social service endeavors to help people work toward their dreams just as Olympians worldwide are doing now as they commence the 2016 Summer Games! Every goal, big or small, deserves the opportunity to be reached.