Maui News

Special Olympics Hawaiʻi Launches “Virtual High Five Campaign” to Support Local Athletes

March 20, 2021, 9:05 AM HST
* Updated March 20, 8:26 AM
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  • Pre-pandemic photo. Image courtesy of Special Olympics Hawaiʻi.
  • Pre-pandemic photo. Image courtesy of Special Olympics Hawaiʻi.
  • Pre-pandemic photo. Image courtesy of Special Olympics Hawaiʻi.
  • Pre-pandemic photo. Image courtesy of Special Olympics Hawaiʻi.
  • Pre-pandemic photo. Image courtesy of Special Olympics Hawaiʻi.
  • Pre-pandemic photo. Image courtesy of Special Olympics Hawaiʻi.
  • Pre-pandemic photo. Image courtesy of Special Olympics Hawaiʻi.
  • Pre-pandemic photo. Image courtesy of Special Olympics Hawaiʻi.
  • Pre-pandemic photo. Image courtesy of Special Olympics Hawaiʻi.

Special Olympics Hawaiʻi launched its first-ever Virtual High Five Campaign that aims to help and support local athletes with intellectual disabilities who have all been impacted by the unprecedented shutdown of in-person sports. The community can “send a virtual high five” by making a minimum donation of $5 by text now through the end of April.

“Our athletes love receiving high fives during practices and competitions, which is why we wanted to create a safe and innovative way to engage the entire community and give everyone a chance to keep the high fives going,” said Tracey Bender, Special Olympics Hawaiʻi’s director of development. “Every high five will have a lasting impact on our athletes who are now training for the upcoming virtual spring season. It will inspire them to keep up their hard work and dedication and remind them that the community is still there and supporting them, even though it’s not in person.”

To make a donation:

  • Text SOHI5 to 44321
  • Immediately after texting SOHI5 to 44321, you will receive a secure online link that will direct you to Special Olympics Hawaiʻi’s Virtual High Five Campaign donation page. 
  • Tap the online link to donate and select your donation amount and payment method (via Apple Pay, credit card, or bank account). 
  • You can also make a donation directly online.

Donating by text or online allows a safe, easy and convenient way for the community to support local athletes. Message and data rates may apply when donating through this method. Individuals can unsubscribe at any time by texting STOP.

“Now more than ever, Special Olympics Hawaiʻi needs the community’s support to keep their athletes strong physically and emotionally until the time is safe for them to return to in-person sports,” said organizers. The funds raised through the Virtual High Five Campaign will help Special Olympics Hawaiʻi continue to provide virtual and online programs, and ensure more than 3,400 athletes can safely “return to play” with the proper personal protective equipment and supplies.

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McDonald’s of Hawaiʻi will also be extending a helping hand to support the Virtual High Five Campaign. From Saturday, April 17 to Saturday, April 24, anyone who makes a $10 or more donation to the Virtual High Five Campaign will receive a “Be Our Guest” card for a free 10-piece chicken McNuggets. Those who donate will receive an email to submit their mailing address and Special Olympics Hawaiʻi will mail the cards to the donors (will take around 2-3 weeks for delivery). The special promotion will take place at all 73 restaurant locations across the state.

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Special Olympics Hawaiʻi provides year-round sports programs and training for athletes with intellectual disabilities, free of charge. Since 1968 Special Olympics has been changing attitudes about the talents of people with intellectual disabilities and raising awareness to build an inclusive and unified community.

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