History of Support
JD Finish Line, together with The Youth Foundation, empowers employees from across the United States to connect with local State Programs to provide volunteer support at competitions throughout the year. JD Finish Line volunteers continue to play an active and vital role in local Programs, including Special Olympics Indiana, where JD Finish Line is headquartered.
Over the years, JD Finish Line has been instrumental in supporting innovative approaches to improve athlete health and fitness by investing in Healthy Athletes Fit Feet programming. In 2015, Finish Line expanded its support of fitness programming to include grants that support the implementation of new fitness tools, tactics, and best practices at the local Program level.
In 2017, JD Finish Line introduced Fit Forward events in targeted Special Olympics State Programs. Fit Forward events offer the chance for athletes to have their feet properly measured by JD Finish Line staff to ensure they are wearing the correct shoe size. Through these events, JD Finish Line has given away thousands of shoes to athletes. In 2018, JD Finish Line teamed up with Brooks Running to gift all athletes and unified partners with a special edition 2018 Special Olympics USA Games sneaker.
While continuing their support of Fit Feet and hosting Fit Forward events, JD Finish Line’s support has recently expanded to several other key programs and initiatives. These include the launch of MyHealth online hub, sponsorship of the Special Olympics North America Move Challenge, sponsorship of Gaming for Inclusion, and providing shoes for the SO USA team heading to the 2023 World Games in Berlin.
Turning our gaze to the horizon, we envision JD Finish Line’s support continuing to fill gaps in programming and provide equity in underserved and often invisible communities. Thanks to JD Finish Line’s partnership, the voices of people with intellectual disabilities (ID) are challenging the world to define a new normal, where people with ID are included, valued, and prioritized.
Once a year The Youth Foundation runs an at-register fundraising campaign in all JD Finish Line stores across the country to support Special Olympics. These funds are split between Special Olympics State Programs and overall support of the movement. In 2022, Jeff Steron from Special Olympics Colorado served as the Grand Marshal of the fundraising campaign. His dynamic leadership inspired JD Finish Line store employees and led to yet another successful campaign all while introducing shoppers to the Special Olympics movement. Additionally JD Finish Line was able to invite small groups of athletes to the store to meet the staff and were surprised with a free pair of shoes!
Special Olympics is proud to have Finish Line as a partner in our fight for inclusion. Dr. Timothy P. Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics comments. "We are a sports organization and JD Finish Line is a great sports brand with a passion to celebrate the achievements of athletes everywhere. JD Finish Line's commitment to supporting athletes with intellectual disabilities will be a tremendous asset as we continue to work to promote acceptance and inclusion for all people."