On October 3, 2019, at age 70, Coach Bob Stevens coordinated the largest picnic for special needs students that he’s ever put together. Nearly 600 kids from 21 schools attended this free Picnic in the Park. It took more than 40 volunteers to pull it off.
Coach Bob taught special needs children for decades. Although he’s retired from teaching, he continues to work tirelessly to bring joy to these kids. He volunteers as regional director for a national service organization, and besides the annual picnic, his group puts on five dinner dances per year for special needs children. Since his first day working with special needs students, his drive to support them has only grown. It’s in his heart. It’s part of who he is.
His success depends on the relationships he builds. He’s a regular at meetings of other charitable, religious and service organizations. He has the finesse of a well-seasoned politician or salesperson, with none of the negative connotations so often associated with those labels. He’s developed an easy ability to ask for donations, volunteers, any kind of help he can get.
It takes a lot of hustle, he says. But it also takes sincerity and compassion. And it takes a commitment born of years of seeing just how special these children are.That and an ability to always learn from each event how to make the next better. He’s always learning. And he’s already working on next year’s picnic.
Coach Bob Stevens has brought smiles to countless kids over the years. He’s their Champion. In conjunction with the New Orleans Saints, we are proud to honor Coach Bob as a Peoples Health Champion.
If you think about it, you probably know a Champion.
A Champion may even be you. Nominate yourself or someone you know—like a relative, co-worker or neighbor—as a Peoples Health Champion.