Meet Steve Neelin who is an avid volunteer in the Rochester community. Volunteering is a significant part of his life. He enjoys helping people and encourages everyone to get involved with a non-profit and make a difference.
Steve volunteers with the Special Olympics locally, initially getting involved through work. The first woman he coached participated in the adaptive games. “She stole my heart and I’ve been hooked ever since,” says Steve. For 18 years he has coached soccer, basketball, track, softball, and floor hockey. He is still volunteers with Special Olympics today.
Steve’s involvement with the Special Olympics inevitably led him to volunteer on the Arc Foundation of Monroe’s Board of Directors. When approached by another Arc Foundation board member about volunteering Steve says, “A smile lit up my face and I couldn’t wait to go and be a part of the organization. That was more than eight or nine years ago. I love it.”
Why volunteer with people who have disabilities
Steve recalls his own childhood when people were often unaccepting of people with disabilities. “When I was growing up we used the ‘r’ word, which I still cringe when I hear today. Schools were segregated in terms of special needs. [People with disabilities] did ride the old short bus. They had their own classrooms. They were not integrated.”
Steve truly enjoys volunteering with youth who have disabilities. “People with disabilities contribute to society. They go to movies. They go to restaurants. They’re not that different from you or me. They have the same likes and dislikes that you do,” he says. Steve explains that the youth he coaches have taught him so much – to be positive and always leave things better than when you found them. “I get more than I give,” he remarks.
“Appreciate the gifts that have been given to you. I would encourage anyone to get involved in a non-profit,” says Steve. “There is always an opportunity to give something back.”
Steve Neelin is the CEO of Quality Recruiting. He currently volunteers with the Special Olympics and Arc Foundation of Monroe Board.