Corrections Week Spotlight: Diana Crawford

Name: Diana Crawford
Service/Agency: Correction
Rank/Title: Corporal
Years with LETR: 5+

How did you first get involved with LETR?
Helping a co-worker sell Torch Run t-shirts, which led to doing the first Torch ride

What has kept you involved in LETR to this day?
I strongly support helping special needs children/adults and seeing how far they can go with their determination and efforts. I love being able to fundraise and raise money for the Special Olympics which helps to support so many special athletes achieve their goals. I take great pride in doing this and my goal is to reach as many people as possible to help support them too.

What does Special Olympics mean to you?
Special Olympics means so much to me, as I am part of a huge organization that touches the hearts and transforms lives. It provides exponential hope and inclusion for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Inclusion and acceptance fosters understanding among people with and without intellectual disabilities and bridges the gaps and creates a sense of belonging. The athletes work hard at what they are good at and I love that they are able to complete and feel that sense of honour and gratification for their hard work. They are all part of a team and work together as such. As the saying goes, there is no “I” in team.

What is your favourite memory (or memories) during your involvement with LETR/SO?
I can't say I have just one favourite memory as I have several. It was an honour being part of the first torch ride and bringing that fundraiser to fruition. I absolutely love doing the Polar Plunge and seeing some of the athletes I am supporting be there and getting to know them. Selling the stuffies with the LETR is so much fun, especially getting the fundraiser set up for the first time at one of the jails which never even knew about them. Watch the sales soar, and knowing it is going to help the Special Olympics warms my heart and lights a fire under me to do more. I love working together with such amazing people (Sarah Dereski) who has had an enormous impact on me with doing more for LETR, that words are not enough to express just how grateful I am to her. Dennis Berg is another who after his retirement, I wanted to continue doing what he was doing to support in the jail I worked at.

Why should others get involved with the LETR?
I feel others should get involved because it is an amazing feeling when you can do so much to support for the athletes and contributes to enriching their lives and furthering their opportunities. It brings us all together to not only support and provide, but to have fun too!! There are so many ways to get involved and advocate for equal opportunities and change by volunteering at events, selling items to friends and family and the general public. It promotes awareness too, for those who don't know what LETR/SO is. Being able to help and support the athletes who have so much to offer with their talents, and inspire you to be a better person yourself when you see just how awesome they are and how hard they work to achieve their goals. It just makes me want to keep on doing and strive every year for more, because they really deserve it.