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Promoting Down Syndrome Awareness

 

Buddy Walks

 

In October 2006 we held our first “Buddy Walk.” Buddy Walk is a program through the National Down Syndrome Society designed to promote awareness and acceptance of Down Syndrome.  Since then, we have conducted a Buddy Walk each year in the parking lot of the Mall at Shelter Cove.  We created booths that recognized the “success stories” of people with Down Syndrome, had food, live music, a Halloween costume contest and trick or treating for the children.

 

Click on the “Buddy Walk” tab for more info on our next Buddy Walk event...

 

“Dress Down Day” 

 

On the Friday before the Buddy Walk, we can celebrate “Dress Down Day.” We ask businesses and schools to allow their employees to come to work in casual clothing for a $5 fee.  The purpose is two fold.  We hope that the non-standard attire will cause people to inquire about it and the response would be that “I am dressed down to promote Down Syndrome awareness.”  The other goal is to raise money. 

 

“Caroline & Friends” Brochure 

 

The New York Times recently ran an article about the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s changing recommendations on Down Syndrome screening.  It used to be that this screening was only suggested to women of “advanced maternal age” (35 and older at time of delivery.)  The new recommendations say that all women should be screened.

 

Faced with the staggeringly high percentage of women who terminate their pregnancies when handed a diagnosis of Down Syndrome, it is so important that we get the word out early and often that such a decision might result in an unthinkable loss to their family and society.  These women need to know what joy Caroline brings to me, her family, her teachers/therapists and even total strangers.

 

My fear is that if these women go to so many of the sources we first did, they won’t get the full picture.  To that end we are developing a brochure with the funds we raise at the Buddy Walk for distribution at pediatrician and OB/GYN offices.  It will have as much info as possible and web links for even more.

 

Long Term Goals

 

We would love to raise enough money that we could implement more educational programs for these children.   There is an academic program called The RISE School that seems to be having great success.  We are researching the possibility of bringing one to Hilton Head Island someday (funds permitting).

 

 

If you would rather donate online to Caroline & Friends instead of by mail, you can use this Paypal link. Thanks!

 

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