How Brooklyn Decker Supports Her Aunt, a Special Olympics Athlete

How Brooklyn Decker Supports Her Aunt, a Special Olympics Athlete
Brooklyn Decker at the Special Olympics Project's national Youth Activation Summit in 2010
Ryan Eades/Special Olympics

09/18/2014 AT 10:45 AM EDT

Brooklyn Decker has been involved with Special Olympics since she was a kid.

Having an aunt with intellectual disabilities, the actress and model, 27, is thankful for the kindness and support the organization has always provided.

"They hosted events every weekend, and she always looked forward to participating and was so proud to bring home a medal," Decker tells PEOPLE. "I saw how important the organization was to her life."

"I remember in elementary school, we had a program that involved many athletes with intellectual disabilities, and their goal was to get students involved with those students," she recalls. "They wanted to introduce this idea of inclusion, which is what Special Olympics does so well, especially with unified sports. It was so impactful to me."



Decker has continued her childhood involvement throughout the years and after serving as a national ambassador and was recently named a global ambassador for Special Olympics.

And she's not the only one in her family lending their support.

"I'm no athlete, but I do know one [husband and tennis pro Andy Roddick]," she says, "and he's done a fantastic job helping with the cause as well."

For more of our interview with Decker, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

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