Special Olympics Partners with Box for Vision & Leaders Conference

Weaving social impact into all aspects of your company’s culture is no easy task – but that is exactly Box.org’s mission is every day.

 

Box.org is the community engagement branch for Box.com, a cloud content management and file-sharing service for businesses based in Redwood City. In February, the organization chose Special Olympics Northern California (SONC) to be part of their three-day Vision & Leaders Conference hosted at the San Jose Convention Center.

 

The conference brought together more than 1,000 Box executives and employees from around the world to connect, exchange ideas and work to enhance business objectives and their impact in the community. Box.org took over the conference for one evening with a goal of educating Boxers (employees) on the work of Special Olympics and providing a way for them to engage with the organization.

 

The Box.org event started with a keynote presentation by Bryan Breckenridge, the executive director of Box.org, who delivered an inspiring message about their mission and motivation to give back. A video message then highlighted individual Box employees’ personal connection with Special Olympics. 

 

Danielle Liebl, a former Special Olympics athlete and current ambassador for the organization and individuals with intellectual disabilities, then stole the show with a presentation that left Boxers raving for weeks thereafter.

 

Danielle participated in a Q&A with Tom Addis, Box’s SVP General Manager of Global Field Operations, in which she shared her incredible life story – everything from being bullied, to starting a nonprofit, to being invited to the White House and graduating law school – and discussed the inspiring impact that Special Olympics has on millions of people around the world.

 

“In society, people sometimes view individuals with intellectual disabilities as a charity-case, or less fortunate, or not all ‘there,’” said Danielle. “But I would challenge you to have a conversation with them. Reach out. Because they will surprise you. Get to know our athletes, because it will make all the difference – not just in their lives, but in your life, too.”

 

Following the inspirational kickoff, Boxers broke off into seven different on-site activations designed to integrate them into the different aspects of Special Olympics.

 

The activations included:

  • A presentation and Q&A titled “Joining the Inclusion Revolution” featuring Colin Wilfred, a Special Olympics athlete and student at Woodside High School, and his father and SONC board member, Eric Wilfrid, educating Box employees on disability and inclusion landscape and how to get involved.
  • A motivation station where Boxers learned about SONC's Schools Partner Program and Unified Sports, an initiative that brings together athletes with and without disabilities to play on the same team. Boxers also created posters for upcoming competitions.
  • Two ‘hackathons’ that tapped into Boxers’ technical expertise to help Special Olympics solve business operations issues using Box technology and other partner technologies.
  • A Polar Plunge ‘flash mob’ at bars and restaurants around the city to promote SONC’s largest peer-to-peer fundraising event.
  • A Qigong session led by Special Olympics Healthy Athletes: Strong Minds Clinical Director Chris Shelton, teaching Boxers breathing and movement techniques to reduce stress and improve focus.
  • And a floor hockey shooting and passing clinic lead by SONC staff and guest floor hockey athletes who showcased their shooting and passing skills.

 

The event concluded with a dinner reception and closing remarks by Breckenridge. Boxers were encouraged to get involved – either by donating directly to SONC or volunteering in their respective community. Since the close of the event, personal stories and connections have continued to pour out from Boxers who were touched and inspired by the work of Special Olympics.

 

SONC is grateful to have the support of partners like Box and Box.org who believe in promoting inclusion and inspiring others to do more – in business, in communities and in life.

 

Because as Danielle said:                       

 

“If there is not an opportunity available, you make one available.”

 

Interested in having your company partner with Special Olympics?

Please contact Kathryn Morrissey at kathrynm@sonc.org.