This year I have made a concerted effort to "give something back". As some of you may know I have a disabled sister who lives interstate with my parents. I see first hand how limited the facilities the government provides are. Funding is continually being cut and the opportunites for respite for the parents/carers is becoming increasingly difficult to find.
Simply donating money has always seemed to me to be the easy way out. I have been thinking of ways to help directly using my own effort.
I am in the process of putting together a team for "Special Soccer" designed for kids between 5 - 14 with intellectual disabilities. Believe it or not, here in NSW there is only one club which runs a team (playing against themselves). Kids come from all over Sydney each saturday afternoon to play and just for a moment they get to be like a lot of other kids their age. The competition is purely fun. No goalies, no penalties (except for bad behaviour), regular goals, own goals - everthing is celebrated!
The local soccer (football for you in the Northern Hemisphere) club will be supporting the venture, while I volunteered for the dubious task of organising it. Today I started the recruiting world of pain. The plan was to contact the department of education and get a list of all the special schools in the area. Using that list, send them all a letter explaining what we're up to. Simple huh? Nope - it was like pulling teeth! I got shuffled through no less than 5 different people/departments and now have some woman sending me something via snail mail (I don't actually know what). An electronic copy would be nice: Hello people! mail merge!?
But it is all these little hurdles that make the venture interesting. I know it will be worth it.