Never Quit Dreaming is a 501 (c) (3), non-profit organization, whose mission is to create recreational activities and unique experiences for special needs children living in Hawaii. Our vision is to create breathless memories that last a lifetime.
When an expectant mother and father finds out their unborn child has a physical or intellectual learning disability, their first thoughts often are, “How am I going to be a good parent? What resources are available in our community for special needs children?” In my opinion, these parents should be focusing on all the goals and dreams this child will have instead of focusing on the problems that may arise in early childhood, adolescence and adulthood. These three words are deeply powerful: DON’T. LIMIT. ME.
On January 25th 2020, I volunteered at a basketball clinic for individuals with special needs aged 4 ½ to 21 years old. I would like to give a shoutout to my former recreational leadership teacher and current Special Olympics mentor for inviting me to be part of this amazing program which is Island-wide. Each session was $20 and with that payment, each participant received a shirt with their last name and a number on the back and the logo of the event on the front. I volunteered from 8:45-11 PM. There were about five stations set up to practice specific drills including dribbling, shooting, bounce pass, chest pass, and left and right crossovers. My partner was a kindergartener named Landon and he had a lot of fun. The Maui High School Basketball team was volunteering at the event. My favorite memory with my little buddy was seeing him bond with another participant; they were inseparable.
We did warm ups and went through each individual station which each child. The children did extremely well following directions. Some of the other activities included running to half court line and then to the full court line, team huddle, team/volunteer pictures, and lunch. Overall, I had an amazing time and love to volunteer for organizations like Never Quit Dreaming, who help children play sports in a non-competitive way. I look forward to the opportunity to work with the kids and other volunteers at future events. I was rewarded by seeing the love and happiness in the eyes of the parents who attended this session with their children. It’s an unexplainable joy to witness these parents support their children in any way they can.This program not only builds a foundation for sports, but also builds the foundation for confidence, friendship, and sense of accomplishment and success. This is the type of community involvement I hope to see more of on Maui.