special olympics 2011 This is Emilda Soriano. She’s 18 years old and attends Salem Student Center in Iloilo City, Philippines.

The student center she attends serves a community in which many of our families scavenge here.

Child development specialists say that Emilda has the mental capacity of a 3-year-old. But this, and her environment, haven’t prevented her from qualifying to represent the Philippines in track and field at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece.

Regrettably, qualifying and going to Athens are two different things.

Emilda is currently training … hoping that something can be done so she can join the other 7,500 athletes who will be competing in the games.

She’s not able to make plans because activities like this can’t be funded by our Child Sponsorship Program. However, Compassion Philippines has submitted a proposal requesting additional assistance for Emilda.

This is where you come in. Let’s raise the money to send Emilda to Greece. The amount is just shy of $20,000.

Make a donation to allow Emilda to compete in the International Special Olympics. (UPDATE: Mar. 8, 2011 – 100 percent of the money has been raised.)

Assuming we can raise the money for Emilda, I plan to have at least one follow-up blog post about Emilda before the games begin and one after she’s raced. Depending on what the Philippines Country Office can support, there could be more, including video. That’s what I’m pushing for.

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37 Comments Add a Comment
  1. Feb 14, 2011
    at 4:39 am

    Thank you for the opportunity to support Emilda, what a fantastic story… I am looking forward to hearing news of her victories in Greece (what an incredible and historic place to compete in the Special Olympics!) — she will get there!

    I didn’t purchase anything for Valentine’s Day — giving her the funds instead!

    • Feb 14, 2011
      at 6:35 am


      That’s fantastic! Thank you so much.

      • Feb 14, 2011
        at 6:44 am

        Thank you — can’t do this without the help of Compassion!

  2. Heather
    Feb 14, 2011
    at 8:04 am

    Happy Valentine’s Day Emilda! I hope with my help and many others we can send you to the Olympics!

  3. hi i'm steph
    Feb 14, 2011
    at 8:05 am

    Is there a dead line and can we send contributions with our monthly statement?
    We love the Special Olympics!

    • Feb 14, 2011
      at 9:48 am


      The only deadline is when we reach the $19,857 amount requested by the Compassion Philippines proposal. Hopefully, we’ll be able to do that quickly.

      There is a thermometer tracking our progress on this page; although, it’s not currently displaying properly. That’s being addressed and should be fixed soon.

      I’m also going to be giving updates about donations to let people know how things are going.

      You can send your contribution with your monthly statement, but please be sure to check the thermometer first. And be sure to include a note that you’re donating so that Emilda can go to the Special Olympics. Include this code for proper tracking – 96738.

      • Heather
        Feb 14, 2011
        at 1:04 pm

        Please let us know when they fix the thermometer, many of us are watching it. Thanks!

  4. James Lanchester
    Feb 14, 2011
    at 10:27 am

    Come on sponsers, one less breakfast out, two less starbucks, or just plain decide to help. I challenge every person that reads this to donate just one dollar. I’m putting my money where my mouth is.

    • kathy Davis
      Feb 14, 2011
      at 5:24 pm

      I totally agree

  5. Feb 14, 2011
    at 12:14 pm

    This is a great opportunity for a Compassion kid! Count us in.

  6. Mike Stephens
    Feb 14, 2011
    at 5:00 pm

    I’m going to drop $20 off at Compassion tomorrow 😉 just need about 999 more people to do the same :) I look forward to seeing her race video winnig the Gold medal

    I Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for YOU!”

  7. Feb 15, 2011
    at 8:12 am

    Thank you for your generosity to Emilda yesterday. $1,921 has been raised.

  8. Feb 15, 2011
    at 11:25 am

    I have a question:
    Are you planning on sending out a letter about Emilda for those sponsors who don’t check twitter or the website?

    • Feb 15, 2011
      at 12:19 pm

      At this time we are not. We don’t do much fundraising via social media because we try to provide communication that is more relational. However, when I do see something like this I like to offer it to our fans and followers so they can help. On the other hand, sponsors and donors do get quite a number of requests for support via email and direct mail. We try to exercise restraint and not overwhelm them will all the needs that poverty tosses up at us.

  9. Feb 15, 2011
    at 12:45 pm

    Instead of Compassion sending out a mailer or e-mail, perhaps those of us who are interested could commit to pasting the link in an email and sending it out to family, friends, our Bible study groups, church groups, or anyone else who might be interested in participating.

    Here’s the link:

    • Feb 15, 2011
      at 3:44 pm

      I love this idea! It could also be communicated as a Compassion Bloggers idea. I wrote a post yesterday, and saw a few other posts as well.

      • Feb 15, 2011
        at 6:31 pm

        We’re sending an email to the Compassion Bloggers. It was supposed to go out last night, but the Internets was down. Hopefully, tonight.

        • Feb 15, 2011
          at 6:33 pm

          Sweet! Thank you!

  10. Mike Stephens
    Feb 15, 2011
    at 4:08 pm

    I gave $22 today ;)! Glad I remembered!

  11. Feb 16, 2011
    at 10:39 am

    We’re at 12% of our goal – $2,361

  12. Lola
    Feb 17, 2011
    at 8:33 am

    I am donating some money today for Emilda!

    • Feb 17, 2011
      at 10:28 am

      Wonderful! Thank you Lola.

      • Beth
        Feb 18, 2011
        at 1:34 pm

        Lola – awesome!

        Chris, guess what? We’re 30% there today! $13,390 left to raise.

        I donated a couple of days ago and am waiting until my next paycheck to donate more. Tell your friends and family about this; I know that in Christ, nothing is impossible and Emilda certainly shows us that with her brave spirit and heart!

        For the latest details on where we’re at: http://donate.compassion.com/special-olympics-athens/?referer=96738 (same site Chris posted earlier in the comments)

  13. Feb 18, 2011
    at 4:30 pm

    We’re at 32% of our goal – $6,467. Please continue to spread the word. Thanks.

  14. Michelle Rausch
    Feb 20, 2011
    at 6:55 pm

    Okay… I gave 20 bucks and now I’m going to go check that thermometer. Only thing is, I didn’t enter a code when I donated…… It already said something about the Olympic fund at the top? So I hope it is okay. If not…. I guess it just means I gotta donate again. :)

  15. Mike Stephens
    Feb 21, 2011
    at 5:04 pm

    Almost 50%! At least Emilda has enough for her plane ticket!

  16. Feb 24, 2011
    at 10:34 am

    We’re still just shy of 50% of our goal.

  17. Feb 26, 2011
    at 8:35 am

    Hi there! I recently blogged about this giving opportunity. I’m wondering if the online donation link is also for Canadian donors? Will a Canadian charitable tax receipt be issued? If not, is there a ways we can donate via the Compassion.ca website? Thanks!

    • Feb 28, 2011
      at 4:46 pm

      I’m looking into this for you.

    • Mar 1, 2011
      at 10:05 am

      Donations made by credit card via the U.S. website will only generate a U.S. tax receipt at the end of the year. Compassion Canada says that they can only provide a tax receipt for contributions that come directly through their office. We’re not able to set up a donation page on Canada’s site for Emilda because of how donations are being tracked for this effort.

  18. Mar 2, 2011
    at 7:33 am

    We’re at 63% of the goal. The Compassion Uganda office raised $1,100 for Emilda in their staff meeting the other day.

    • Michelle
      Mar 2, 2011
      at 7:51 am

      YAY Compassion Uganda!!!!! Way to go…. :)

  19. Mike Stephens
    Mar 5, 2011
    at 12:48 pm


  20. Mike Stephens
    Mar 7, 2011
    at 4:30 pm

    WOW! Almost there! Do we know the date of her race?

  21. Jenn L
    Mar 8, 2011
    at 5:38 pm

    I looked today and the thermometer is at the top! Fully funded! Praise the Lord!

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