Making an IMPACT with Special Olympics of Washington

Here at Docusign, we make it our mission to harness the power of our people, our profits, and our technology to help empower nonprofits. Last fall, we had the opportunity to attend the highly-anticipated Summer Games Opening Ceremonies for the Special Olympics Washington. Twenty-five Docusign volunteers supported over 700 athletes from around the country.

Through our Docusign IMPACT program, we’ve also assisted the organization in implementing and leveraging the Docusign technology to digitize their business operations. In short, this means helping connect more athletes with the organization by removing the hassle and cost of paper.

While this longtime business connection with the Special Olympics is important, we also wanted to find more ways to leverage the commitment of our employees. Most recently, we had the opportunity to attend the Winter Games for Special Olympics Washington.

The Winter Games

We recently sat down with Docusign Market Development Representative, Jesse Shao, who helped coordinate and volunteer at the Special Olympics Washington Winter Games. 

“It was a riot,” said Shao. “It’s always so fantastic to see how contagious their [the athletes] happiness is. Their friends come in from all around the state, and there’s only so many events where they get to see each other. It’s a weird sensation, because whatever amount of energy you put in to celebrate their effort, you feel back tenfold. I find volunteering with them to be incredibly selfish because you get so pumped up with these feel-good hormones afterward.”

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In all, 50 volunteers, sponsored by Docusign Senior Vice President of North American Sales, Loren Alhadoff, traveled to Mission Ridge in Wenatchee, Washington. “More and more Docusign employees are out there using their VTO hours,” said Shao. “Every single time, it’s an easy ask to get people to attend. Fortunately, our executive level management are connected with the Special Olympics as well. When we asked about setting up this outing, they just said yes -- no hesitation. ‘What do you need, we’ll make sure it happens.’”

When asked about one of his favorite memories from the games, Shao said, “There was a participant skiing down the slopes and they have to go in-between these little flag markers. On her first run through, she fell and got distracted and missed her mark. She started to cry, as this was something she had spent a lot of time preparing for. It was crushing initially, but she had a second run. We watched her go through it mark by mark. She managed to make it across a second time. At the bottom of the hill -- she stopped. She was hunched over. We didn’t know what to think. Then, she suddenly said, ‘I did it.’ And her mom said, ‘Yes, you did.’ That moment really seemed to resonate from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet.

"What we as volunteers were watching was a moment of discovery for someone. They realized they were capable of doing something that they didn’t think they could do -- and I think we all have those moments.

Looking Ahead

Both the Summer and Winter games have served as momentum in helping more Docusign employees become involved with the Special Olympics’ cause.

“We’re looking to get even more volunteer opportunities with the Special Olympics up and running. We are going to be volunteering with Special Olympics USA this summer. They’re bringing the summer games here to Seattle, and we’re looking to get 300 plus volunteers.”

Are you interested in becoming involved with the Special Olympics? You can learn more about the upcoming Summer Games in Seattle, right here and more about the Special Olympics as a whole here.