WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Hurricane Harvey hit southeast Texas hard and its aftermath continues to impact many communities across the Lone Star state including our non-profits.
Special Olympics Texas lost thousands of dollars after canceling fundraisers because of flooding and corporate sponsors asking for refunds to give to Harvey relief efforts instead.
"We've had to make budget cuts for our area program," Mike Strickland Special Olympics Texas Area 9 Director said.
The budget cuts are affecting several of their competitions and services, where 58,000 athletes compete in.
"They don't want to lose out on that just for our athletes sake everything is still on a hold," Strickland said. "We don't know what's going to take place."
One of the North Texas athletes is 24-year-old Michael Horton who became a Special Olympics athlete four years ago.
"I did not imagine doing this until I moved here after I did I loved it ever since," Horton said.
He said it has helped him grow and love who he is.
"I met everybody and they just made me feel better about myself," Horton said. "I know they got the same stuff, the same thing as me, they got a disability."
The statewide organization created an online fundraising campaign using #SOTXStrong where they share stories of their athletes and a website where people can donate money.
Strickland said he believes in the Texas spirit to come through because Texans are great people who have big hearts.
The North Texas chapter is finding new ways to raise money itself.
"We do have some fundraisers that some events that we are carrying out and utilizing them as a fundraising opportunity," Strickland said.
One of those events is a flag football game where their athletes play alongside MSU football players against West Texas A&M during homecoming week, next month.