The worldwide community often proves its ability to work together to help those suffering from a major disaster. While this generosity is important, too often those suffering in our neighborhoods get overlooked. Whether it’s an elderly woman needing help carrying her groceries, or a family struggling to pay their bills, someone needs help right in our backyards. Unfortunately, they may not receive any without the benefit of the world stage.
The Odyssey Angels program challenges teams to use their unique creative problem-solving abilities to help some aspect of their community that would otherwise be overlooked.
New York teams have won this twice in the past 3 years - we are so proud of our Odyssey Angels!
For more information, or to apply to be this year's Odyssey Angel visit www.odysseyangels.org
2021 Odyssey Angels
Johanna Perrin Middle School from Fairport, New York
2019 Odyssey Angels
Remsenburg-Speonk Elementary School in Remsenburg, New York
After helping with a fundraiser at their community animal shelter, the team noticed some sad puppies. They decided this was the perfect opportunity to use their creativity to help. They tried to think of ways to make the puppies happy, all while teaching them to be playful and have fun—thus making them more adoptable.
They learned that it was dangerous for the puppies to have decorations in their cages, so to help them learn and play, the team developed a safe and fun sensory puppy playground.
The sensory playgrounds themselves were also good for the planet, “We used our Odyssey of the Mind creative thinking skills to repurpose everyday materials that would otherwise be thrown away. Doing this not only helps the shelter animals, but also helps our planet. The dogs and cats love using their senses on the playground!”
The team continues to apply the engineering design cycle to improve the playground, making for increasingly happy animals – well on their way to become happily adopted pets!
This team helped a local preschool re-open safely during a pandemic by building outdoor sensory tables, toys, and other items that could provide educational opportunities for young students as they returned to the school, which was held primarily outside. They helped younger students in their community find a new sense of normalcy and helped parents go back to work knowing their children were safe.
The team utilized their creative problem solving and building skills, repurposing items and fundraising when needed. It then decided to expand the project by building an outdoor exercise/ sensory path for the school. They worked closely with the school and even presented their project to the parents to get feedback and improve their solution to make sure it was safe for young kids.
This group has a passion for helping others any time an opportunity arises. They are continuing to be role models for the community as they lead by example, and teach and mentor others along the way, while still really enjoying what they do.