Special Olympics inspired volunteer 24 years ago to help those with disabilities

S.T.A.R. program holds activities for the diabled

LITTLETON - 7NEWS recently traveled to Littleton to meet a volunteering super star.

We met a longtime volunteer at a program known as S.T.A.R. at the South Suburban Buck Recreation Center in Littleton.

"South Suburban Therapeutic Active Recreation," explains Carey Overstreet, S.T.A.R. program coordinator.

Members of S.T.A.R. gather several times a month to create, to bowl, to swim, to dance and to learn.

"We work with people with disabilities.  One of our main goals is increasing their independence, getting them out and getting them doing recreational activities," said Overstreet.

The S.T.A.R. program has been around for as long as most can remember and so has one of its volunteers.

Don Mullins has given his time at four different S.T.A.R. programs several times a month for 24 years!

"I am retired. It keeps me off the streets of Littleton," said volunteer Don Mullins.

Mullins is a retired electrical engineer; he had no expertise with special needs.

But years ago he saw a Special Olympics event and decided right then to volunteer. It is a memory that touches his heart still today.

"At the end (of the event) everybody started clapping and the participants clapped and I thought: 'That's neat, that's neat,'" said Mullins.

"He is just amazing.  Whatever we ask him to do, he will do.  He is very dedicated, very compassionate," said Overstreet.

To have a consistent, encouraging friend like Mullins means the world to members of S.T.A.R.

"Don is nice!" said Graham, class participant.

"I do like the class, it's pretty fun," said Yuriah, another class participant.

"He is always here to help everyone have fun.  He's really our fun guy," said Overstreet.

Don Mullins is a fun guy who is making a difference by giving of himself.

"It keeps me young.  I'm 72 and it keeps me young," said Mullins.

To learn more about South Suburban's S.T.A.R. program got to www.sspr.org

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