There’s an old expression that reads, “Look up ___ in the dictionary and you’ll find his/her picture.” We’ve all heard it, right? “Look up happy in the dictionary and there’s Fluffy!”
But we now live in a digital age and the internet has helped to bring instant information and opportunities to our fingertips from all over the world. And no one knows this better than Erin Hattersley. So maybe we should adapt with the times?
“Google philanthropic and you’ll find Erin Hattersley.” Well not really, but you get the point.
Erin manages a program currently available in ~50 countries called Google for Nonprofits which provides free tools to nonprofit organizations that allow them to work more quickly and efficiently, reach a wider audience, spur more supporters to take action, and tell their story in a more compelling way. Thanks to Erin, Special Olympics Northern California recently began working with Google for Nonprofits Trainers to improve our understanding of their varied services which is a volunteer program where Googlers work with nonprofits one-on-one to help with their use of Google tools. The Special Olympics Northern California is learning ways technology can help raise money, track volunteers, and much more. Erin was first introduced to Special Olympics in 2012 through this same volunteer program!
The opportunity to volunteer with the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games team in Los Angeles was all the more meaningful since Erin’s nephew has special needs and it is his courage and attitude that provides her with daily inspiration. Witnessing the achievements and perseverance of thousands of other athletes from all over the world at the games themselves in the summer of 2015 inspired her to become even more involved, and she returned home with a new sense of dedication. And inspiration became action. Along with her support through Google for Nonprofits, Erin volunteered at the Unified Flag Football event with the San Francisco 49ers Community and Football Camp for the Stars; participated in the Polar Plunge in 2016, combining her birthday party with the event to raise funds; and recently became a board member for Special Olympics Northern California. She is gearing up to run the 5K and plunge again this year in San Francisco on Saturday, February 18th!
Erin continues to be overwhelmed with the warmth of the Special Olympics community and says that she is “touched by the pure joy of the athletes.” She describes her experience with Special Olympics as “magical” and has seen through Special Olympics that “we should be kind members of humanity, and acceptance and inclusion are important ways to do this.”
We are incredibly grateful to have Erin as part of our Special Olympics Northern California family, having joined the board this past October. It is thanks to advocates like her that we can continue to celebrate the accomplishments of children and adults with intellectual disabilities and offer resources and opportunities for them to further succeed in life.
Want to help Erin support Special Olympics athletes? Visit her fundraising page and join her at the San Francisco Dash & Splash this Saturday at Little Marina Green! http://bit.ly/2lTwiMC