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Special Olympics athlete asks community for support on #GivingTu - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Special Olympics athlete asks community for support on #GivingTuesday

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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Across the globe, communities are celebrating "Giving Tuesday." It's a chance to remind people to give back.

One organization asking for help is the Special Olympics.

Their Charleston sailing team is raising money, so they can travel to Los Angeles and compete in world championships for the first time ever!

Kylie MacFarland has been involved with Special Olympics for over a decade.

"Every time I go do special olympics, I get excited," said MacFarland.

MacFarland competes in several sports like tennis, running, kayaking and sailing. She said she likes trying the new sports and meeting new friends.

One of those friends is Ellinor Walters, a sophomore at the College of Charleston.

"She's a sweetheart," said MacFarland. "She's my partner, she's my friend. We sail together, we talk about stuff."

Walters has been a Special Olympics volunteer since high school. She's been sailing since she was six years old and said she sees her work with Special Olympics as a way to give back to the sailing community.

"It's a super fulfilling experience to get out on the water and be able to teach something you're passionate about," said Walters.

Walters is teaching MacFarland skills she can use on and off the sailboat.

"She teaches me confidence," said MacFarland.

The pair has already gotten a few wins together under their belt. Now, they hope to compete together in the Special Olympic World Games.

"Being on the water with them and earning medals really gives them a profound belief in themselves, which I gained from sailing and athletics my whole life and I feel really blessed to share that," said Walters.

Walters said she's learning a thing or two, as well.

"Kylie has been an inspiration to me because I have never seen her upset, not once in my life," said Walters. "No matter how we're doing in a race, no matter how frustrating the weather conditions might be, she always has a smile on her face."

They both agree whether they win or not, their time sailing together is really just about having fun and bonding over their love for sailing, and the water.

"It's so peaceful and quiet, it's just a cool thing," said MacFarland.

The Charleston Sailing team is hoping to reach their goal of raising $2,500, so their entire team can travel to L.A. next summer for the games.

If you'd like to donate, check out the Special Olympics website.

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