Calista knows how much her brother struggles to do the things most kids can do with ease. She also knows how much he loves being able to go to Special Olympics competitions and how great he feels when he wins an award. She has wanted to become an official Special Olympics volunteer ever since he started participating in the program in 2005.
Calista decided that since she is only 7 and still too young to be an official volunteer, she would try to help out in another way. When she found out that the local Special Olympics program lost their largest fundraising event and was worried about having the funding to be able to take athletes to competitions, she decided to make and sell crafts to help fundraise for the program. She used her own craft supplies to start her project and has helped pay for more supplies so that all money raised from the craft sales could go directly to Crawford County Special Olympics. She started her project in December 2006 and has spent over 180 hours making and selling her crafts. Since her crafts are priced at $1, $2 and $3, she initially hoped to raise $100. To date, Calista has raised $527for the program! She says her new goal is to raise $3000! She also made and donated 40 bowling picture frame magnets to be given out as awards at the Crawford County Special Olympics bowling party! She named her project Calista Cares in the hopes of getting the word out and raising more money for Crawford County Special Olympics. She has received small cash donations and a craft supply donation thanks to her website.
Calista is learning how much funding is needed to run the local Special Olympics program each year and wants to help out as much as she possibly can. She has shown the community that despite her age, she is making a difference for Crawford County Special Olympics. The program is receiving more donations and thanks to Calista's efforts, they are gaining a little more media coverage.
Not only has she done all of this, but since the age of 5, Calista has helped out as much as she possibly can at all of the Special Olympics events she goes to. Whether it is keeping scores in bowling, timing during track and field, ball chasing during the softball throws or simply cheering on the athletes, she has been ready and willing to lend a helping hand! She is her brother's biggest cheerleader both in and out of competition! She is an amazing little girl who spends many hours working on her crafts and is constantly trying to find more places to sell them. She never expects anything in return; she just wants to bring in as much money for the program as she possibly can! She has been an inspiration to her family, friends and Crawford County Special Olympics!