Voya Financial, Inc. have announced the launch of Invest in Something Special, the newest component of the company’s broader effort to support the special needs community. The weeklong Invest in Something Special effort runs through Nov. 19, and will share the near-term goals and lifetime aspirations of Special Olympics athletes to raise awareness of their contributions to the community and amplify their voice on social media. Voya has pledged to donate up to $500,000 to be shared among Special Olympics Programs across the country based on likes, shares and comments for each athlete’s #InvestInSomethingSpecial story.
Designed in partnership with Special Olympics, Invest in Something Special is closely aligned with the Voya Cares program, which seeks to help Americans living with special needs and disabilities, and their caregivers, plan for the retirement they deserve. Nearly 21 million families in the U.S. have at least one member with a disability, and households where at least one family member has an intellectual disability have the highest poverty rate in the U.S.i Voya has designed programming to support this underserved population given its size and the need for tailored advice and resources.
“The Voya Cares program was created to advance understanding about the unique challenges facing Americans with disabilities and their caregivers, from both a cultural and financial perspective,” said Chairman and CEO Rodney O. Martin, Jr. “Similarly, the Invest in Something Special effort will leverage social media to raise awareness of the spirit, compassion and determination that Special Olympics athletes bring to their communities, long after the games are over.”
Voya is donating $1 to Special Olympics for every “comment,” “like” and “share” — up to $500,000. Special Olympics will then distribute the donations to local U.S. Special Olympics Programs. Anyone worldwide who would like to engage in the campaign and support Special Olympics athletes can use the #InvestInSomethingSpecial hashtag to tag their story. To view all the athletes’ stories and learn about the program, visit www.InvestInSomethingSpecial.tumblr.com.
“Special Olympics is striving every day around the world to empower athletes with intellectual disabilities to be leaders in their communities and through our programming in sports, health and schools we are creating more inclusive communities,” added Mary Davis, CEO of Special Olympics International. “We applaud Voya for its commitment to our athletes and our vision.”
Invest in Something Special will culminate in an announcement during December regarding donations to local Special Olympics Programs across the country, but the personal stories of these athletes will remain an important piece of Voya’s awareness efforts going forward.
New data examines workplace diversity and availability of resources for employees with disabilities
Individuals with disabilities are the largest U.S.-based minority group and one that spans race, gender, age and other demographics.ii Voya has released new research highlighting the need for companies to think more inclusively about supporting employees with special needs or who are caregivers to individuals with disabilities. Families with special needs are often underrepresented and overlooked in the workplace. Voya research discovered that while 81 percent of working American adults believe their workplace is diverse, only 33 percent say their workforce includes individuals with physical or cognitive disabilities. Furthermore, 42 percent of respondents were unsure if their employer had organized hiring programs or offered financial and retirement planning tools geared toward this group of Americans.