ALBANY, GA (WALB) - As many people are rooting for team USA in the Olympics, a South Georgia organization is encouraging people to not forget about the Special Olympics.
The Albany Advocacy Resource Center (ARC) held a Sweetheart Strikes fundraiser at the All American Fun Park Bowling Center Friday night.
"The event tonight is really to assist us when we go out of town with Special Olympics. It can be very costly," said Albany Director of Special Olympics Chandra Wesley-Carr.
The ARC program is urging the community to get involved with events sponsored by its Special Olympics program.
Wesley-Carr said that by the community getting involved, it could help the organization continue its mission in providing the participants with self-sufficiency.
"We have a lot of individuals that are going back to school to get their GED and we also have some that have their high school diplomas or have obtained their GED but are now working on a college degree," Wesley-Carr explained.
One participant, in particular, said the program and the assistance from the community has helped her make a better life for herself.
"It helps me because I'm living on my own, I'm going places on my own and right now I'm going to Albany Tech to get my early childhood degree," said Constance Oliver, a program participant.
Staff not only help with daily life for participants but also provide family support.
In fact, another participant in the program said she moved here from Valdosta in 2014 after the passing of her mother and was glad she came to ARC for help.
"I love it! And I wouldn't change the world for it. If it wasn't for ARC, I don't know where I would be today," said program participant Kensha McCray.
The staff at ARC encourages the community to be a part of any Special Olympics event.
Leaders from the organization said the program is completely dependent upon community supporters and the United Way.