Volunteers are the foundation of Special Olympics Missouri. We depend on thousands of volunteers to help coach, conduct events and serve on organizational and fundraising committees. The efforts of a volunteer provide opportunities to children and adults with intellectual disabilities, who, if given the chance, can participate and excel in sports and life.

Does your company offer a grant program for employee volunteer hours? We'll gladly comply! Email us for details

There is a wide range of volunteer opportunities with Special Olympics. The following are just some of the ways you can support the athletes of Special Olympics Missouri:

  • Specific Event: From timekeepers to meal servers, successful local, area and state level events require hundreds of volunteers. Click here for a calendar of upcoming events and register online to volunteer.
  • State Events: Hundreds of volunteers are needed to help run our competitions at the state level. Click here for information on upcoming state events.
  • Unified Sports: Want to get in on the game with the athletes? Try Unified Sports, which pairs athletes with intellectual disabilities with individuals without intellectual disabilities to compete side by side. Click here for details.
  • Outreach: Help us reach out to more and more potential Special Olympics Athletes. Contact Trish Lutz for more information.
  • Fundraising: Coordinate & support fun events to raise funds. Contact Susan Stegeman for more information.
  • Officiating: If you have experience officiating in your community or schools, you will enjoy officiating in Special Olympics. Contact Austin Rippeto if you are a certified official interested in volunteering.
  • Medical: Provide medical support at sports events.
  • Internships: We have a variety of internship opportunities across the state. Click here for details.
  • Competition Management: Be a part of creating and managing a successful sporting event. Dozens of jobs are available from directing traffic to coordinating venue sites. Email volunteer@somo.org for more information. 
  • Coaching: Organize and run practice sessions for a sport and participate with athletes in local, area, and state competitions. Click here for information on becoming a coach.
  • Public Relations: Help us generate media and community interest in local, area and state events.
  • Clerical: Support successful events and programs by helping us with basic clerical support. Contact your local office if you are interested in volunteering in this way.
  • Donations: No time to spare? Please consider a donation to help an aspiring athlete fulfill his or her potential and dreams. Click here to make an online donation.

 Steps to Volunteering

First, let us know which opportunity you are interested in by emailing us. Be sure to let us know how you'd like to volunteer and where you are located. We will contact you and let you know the specific opportunities that are available in your area of interest.

You MAY be asked to complete our Class A Volunteer Application Form or Class A Volunteer Application for Minors. Once you have completed the Class A Volunteer Form, you will be required to complete a protective behaviors test before volunteering. Information regarding our Volunteer Screening Policy can be found here.

Your Area Office will take care of the rest, making sure that you are matched up with a volunteer opportunity that fits you best. For a complete listing of our Area Offices, click here.

To ensure the safety of our athletes and volunteers, the Special Olympics Missouri Board of Directors adopted on April 28, 2007 and amended on April 15, 2011 the  “Athlete and Volunteer Policy and Missouri’s Registration of Sex Offenders."

For further information about becoming a volunteer, please email us

What to expect as a SOMO volunteer

Before volunteering at one of our events, take the time to watch the quick video below where athletes, coaches, Unified Partners and volunteers will tell you what you need to know before you show up on event day!

Unified Sports

Special Olympics Unified Sports(R) is an inclusive program that combines individuals with intellectual disabilities (athletes) and individuals without intellectual disabilities (partners) on sports teams for training and competition. Athletes and partners compete alongside one another, each in a meaningful and integral role on the Unified Sports team.

SOMO offers 21 Olympic-type sports divsioned by age and ability for its athletes and each and every sport has the capability of being structured for Unified Sports if someone is interested.unified sports

For the partner, signing up to be a Unified Partner is as simple as contacting your local area office and letting them know you want to train and compete alongside SOMO's amazing athletes.

Want to bring Unified Sports to your school? Then read through this document from Special Olympics International and then let your local area office know you and your friends are ready to bring Special Olympics into your school!