The path to success for John’s Crazy Socks requires that we find socks that will make
our customers hearts leap with joy and that we deliver service that makes our customers smile. But businesses should do more and, in that spirit, we are committed to giving back to the community. For us, that means supporting and devoting a portion of our proceeds to the Special Olympics. Five percent of our profits go to Special Olympics, meaning that a part of each purchase you make supports Special Olympics.
Part of the reason is that our namesake, John Cronin, is a Special Olympic athlete. Just look at the list of sports in which John competes: snowshoe, basketball, track, soccer, floor hockey and bowling. His experiences with the Special Olympics have helped him to grow into the young man he is today.
Some of the benefits come from simply having the opportunity to play games and learn a sport. John is typical of many of the athletes. As a person with Down Syndrome, he has low muscle tone so the chance to run up and down the basketball court once a week and push a puck around the floor hockey floor is important. But it is more. The Special Olympics are about training and competition. The athletes learn what it means to commit to an activity and to work hard for a goal. John competes on a snowshoe team that only has two meets a year, usually in late January and early February. But he and his teammates train all summer on a beach. How great to learn how to put in the effort now for a long off goal?
The sports activities are real. We have seen a soccer team grow from a point where passing was hard to now when they play exciting games with all the strategy and skill of a “regular” soccer team. The same for watching improvement in basketball where the athletes could barely dribble the ball to a point where they run beautiful pick and roll plays. And the competition is real. The winner gets a gold, second gets a silver and third gets a bronze. These athletes strive as hard as Michael Jordan to achieve victory.
Special Olympics offers nurturing socialization opportunities for these athletes. The experience of playing on a team and learning to depend and work with teammates is as valuable for them as it is any athlete. But there are other opportunities like the local dances. When the athletes travel to away competitions – John has participated in the New York State Games for many years – they travel as a team and stay in hotels like any team, away from parents. It lets them know they are growing up or grown up and have the ability to do for themselves.
This program helps more than just the athletes. Parents and family get to watch and cheer as these athletes rise to heights no one may have imagined. John’s brother, James, has coached basketball, and he may have benefited more than the athletes in his charge. He learned the empathy to understand autistic players. He became more sensitive to differences and developed strategies for working with a diverse group, all skills that have served him well as he has gone on in his life. (If you’re interested in coaching Special Olympics, click here.)
For these reasons and many more, we love the Special Olympics and will donate 5 percent of all the money we make to that cause. If you feel so inclined, you can donate to the Special Olympics right now by clicking here.