Hello everyone! Thanks for stopping by my page. I have been a volunteer for about 10 years now. I was looking for a way to give back to my community when a close friend asked me if I wanted to coach her Special Olympics D.C. basketball team she was volunteering for. To my amazement, coaching that team happened to be one of the brightest shinning moments in my life, which then revealed my strong passion for the organization itself. Volunteering for Special Olympics D.C. has changed my views on people with intellectual disabilities. I've found out it's more about inclusion and having those with disabilities feel accepted. Special Olympics has encouraged me to share with others how important it is to feel a sense of equality through sports or normal everyday interactions with others.
Special Ways provides a visual of mentorship to high functioning and passionate individuals in a family environment with a motivational voice and helping them feel inspired and discover that life has no boudnaries. We have been mentoring both Brandon Perkins and James Black for about a year. In turn, they have been mentoring high school students across D.C. by building relationships and encoruaging others to believe in themselves. People with intellectual disabilities can be high funcitioning individiuals in today's society. The great thing about Brandon and James is what they've gone through in their past. Special Ways started with a vision of how amazing this world could be if people looked past certain disabilities in life. Choosing these two individuals to profess this notion will allow many to believe in themselves and prove that nothing can hold you back from what you do in life.
I came up with this idea about 5 years ago. In that time my dearest uncle, Lance Maxey, who lived in D.C., passed away while I was in the process of creating this project. I can honestly say he was an intricate and positive motivation in life. He had helped me in coping with everyday life experiences. Lance was diagnosed with cancer in May 2012. In just a little bit over 2 months he passed away on July 22nd 2012. The death hit me harder than I thought it would. I put everything on hold due towards the sudden passing of Lance. Now I'm ready to give this project my all and put out an amzaing film.
With the odds against Brandon and James, they grow strength knowing that their intellecutal disabilities don't define them. Throughout their lives they have been neglected, bullied, ignored, and pushed to the side with the belief that they are not so called "normal." They are here to tell people that they are somebody! Their lives matter and they want to be heard. The pain and the struggles that have been necessary to go through allowed each of them to understand that there is a beauty in the struggle. There is a beauty in the story that needs to be told. Brandon and James represent all of those that have been excluded from the world for not being understood. The story of Brandon Perkins and James Black will spark conversation. It will paint a picture that reveals the positive aspects while living with an intllectual disability. It's a Special Way of life.
As we all know films involve the usage of camera equipment, supplies, crews, etc. The purpose of the first phase of funding is to make sure these expenditures met and that I can produce the best film possible. The film will be shot on two Canon 5D Mark III cameras. A portion of the money will go to purchase one of these cameras. There is also a need for two lenses that will be necessary to purchase and rent out as well.
From now until June 21st I will be heavily involved with D.C. Special Olympics and the Unified Sports games. I am part of D.C. Special Olympics National team which will be playing in New Jersey, June 14th through the 21st. During this time I will not be able to capture everything myself, causing me to hire capable assistance. Those assisting will be paid for time filming, travel expesnses, including room and board.
Any and all donations will go towards the making of the film and is sincerely appreciated. With your help this vision and dream will come true and will enlighten people about the D.C. Special Olympics organization and all those involved.
Spread the news with your family and friends! SPECIAL WAYS coming soon!
- Linda Lopez
- Lorraine Mandella
- Brenda Machuca
- Amy Jarrett