Danielle Valle- Fitzgerald
Frigid air surrounds you as you slowly take your first step into the Atlantic ocean. You see hundreds of people who are frantically running into what seems to be an endless body of water. Once strangers will soon be connected as each person seeks to take on a mission much bigger than themselves, fundraise for the Special Olympics.
Danielle Valle-Fitzgerald, a recent graduate from Georgetown University participated in an event where community members in Boston gathered to raise money for the Special Olympics. The Special Olympics is an international organization, founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver that provides opportunities for children with intellectual disabilities to participate in summer and winter sports teams. The Special Olympics offers children inclusion through developing relationships with peers by providing recreational opportunities.
Before completing this fundraiser when Valle-Fitzgerald was asked of her relation to the Special Olympics she said, ” before the fundraiser, I actually had little connection with the Special Olympics. One of my cousins has Cerebral Palsy, and I always watch the Special Olympics on TV, but I never knew a competitor or anything.” Often times I find that people get involved in community service due to a personal connection- seen from a close relationship or facing adversities. Personally speaking, I have always been involved in community service but I became a bigger advocate when my father was diagnosed with Stage 5 Lung Caner. It was than that I realized the urgency to serve as a voice for the marginalized. Whether they had cancer, were in poverty, or had a disability; as seen through the work of Valle- Fitzgerald.
Valle-Fitzgerald states, the best part was seeing the special needs kids and adults that came out- they were all so positive and fun to hang out with; it made how cold I felt seem totally worth it.
People often go through the motion of doing community service, supporting the altruistic idea of random acts of kindness and helping others. Valle- Fitzgerald said, “ I always prefer to participate in philanthropic efforts instead of just raising money- it is so much more fun for me, and I can report back tangible results to the people that donated to me.” “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service of others.” Mahatma Ghandi
Time to reflect..
- What is the one philanthropic cause that you are involved in?
- If you currently do community service do you just go through the motions or after each time do you take time to reflect?
I would love to hear your thoughts!