Selfless Service Spotlight: Special Olympics Arizona

Posted by Jonathan Keyser on Jan 21, 2015 9:54:30 AM
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Special Olympics ArizonaTo help champion the concept of selfless service, Keyser is shining the spotlight on organizations who are committed to serving others. Today, we'd like to feature Special Olympics Arizona and how they are practicing selfless service through the work that they do.

For people with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics is often the only place where they have an opportunity to participate in their communities and develop belief in themselves. For athletes, Special Olympics sports provide a gateway to empowerment, competence, acceptance and joy.

Here's our interview with Chas Harvick, Board Officer and Treasurer of Special Olympics Arizona, on how their organization practices selfless service.

Selfless service is loosely defined as a service that is performed without any expectation of something in return. How does your organization selflessly serve others?

Special Olympics Arizona currently serves approximately 17,000 athletes with over 200 competitions throughout the year and has developed leading programs that provides inclusion for athletes at schools through Project Unify and health services for athletes through Healthy Athletes. In addition to the tremendous service Special Olympics’ provides for the athletes the staff, volunteers and supporters of Special Olympics receive so much more in return. A fun fact that many people are surprised to know is, more than half of adult Special Olympic athletes in the United States are employed, versus 10 percent of intellectually disabled persons who do not participate in Special Olympics.

Do you have a specific example or a story of selfless service that has happened at your organization?

In January 2011, I was asked to join the Fundraising and Development Committee of Special Olympics Arizona. I was aware of the organization but, didn’t fully appreciate the power of Special Olympics Arizona until researching the opportunity. My involvement with the organization has since snowballed to include being a member of the Special Olympics Advocacy Resource Council, accepting an invitation to be on the Board, and this year becoming a Board Officer as Treasurer.

Also in the past few months, I led the charge to develop an Emerging Leaders Council for Special Olympics Arizona. The Emerging Leaders Council are young professional community leaders throughout the Phoenix Metropolitan Area that formed a council to provide support, resources and connections to spread the mission and grow the programs of Special Olympics. We had our first Emerging Leaders Council meeting this week and I couldn’t be more excited about the talent and energy of the members of the Council – they are going to do great things for the organization and our community.

What are your organization’s values, and how does the idea of selfless service fit into those values?

I appreciate the opportunity to share a bit of my story with the Keyser team however, I struggled with the notion of selfless service as no matter how much I give to Special Olympics I feel I get so much more in return.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the world about the idea of selfless service?

Once you get involved with Special Olympics Arizona the excitement, growth and day in and day out success stories make you want to do more to be part of the movement - it’s an awesome journey. To learn more about the organization and all the wonderful ways you can be part of the movement, visit their website at

Keyser is a commercial real estate advisory firm that is transforming the business world through selfless service. Our goal is to prove once and for all that the most self-interested business strategy in the world is to be of selfless service to others. Contact us today to see how we can be of service to you.

Topics: Selfless Service