It may just look like a piece of paper, but when you buy an icon at your local Kwik Trip store from November 7 to 20, you are transforming the life of a Special Olympics athlete. Buying an icon not only helps future athletes enjoy gift of sport, it can teach them employability skills needed to join the workforce. Two Kwik Trip employees witnessed these benefits first-hand.
David Thompson, 19, began participating in Special Olympics athletics, bowling and basketball six years ago. In addition to improving his physical fitness, Special Olympics gave David the confidence and skills he needed to land a job at Kwik Trip.
“Without Special Olympics, I wouldn’t be in this position,” said Thompson. “I was never good at working in groups until I joined [the organization].”
Greg Thompson, 44, started working at his local Kwik Trip in La Crosse when he was the same age as David. Twenty-five years later, he’s still balancing work with flag football, bowling and soccer practice. In 1995, Greg travelled to Connecticut to compete internationally in powerlifting at the Special Olympics World Games, an experience provided by fundraisers like the Kwik Trip icon sales.
In 2013, customers raised $125,484 by purchasing paper icons at Kwik Trip. Buy a icon for $1, sign your name and hang it at your local Kwik Trip store this fall so that the Thompsons, and nearly 10,000 other individuals with intellectual disabilities, can continue to access free programming in sports, heath and education. Find a Kwik Trip store near you!