It’s the middle of July meaning we have less than 3 months left to get our team put together and everyone register for the 3rd Annual Central Arkansas Buddy Walk. Yay!
This year we are making our team official by coming up with a name and ordering t-shirts for those who want to join us.
Depending on how many would like a team shirt, the cost will be $10 or less. Will have an exact amount when I place the final order the middle of September. Let me know as soon as possible if you are interested and what size you need! Feel free to bring lightsabers and Star Wars masks, you name it. 🙂 I’ve got my eye on a toddler Princess Leia outfit for little H and possibly a child-sized Wookie or Yoda outfit for A. E and I want to be Jedi. Haha! This is going to be sooo much fun!!!
We would love for everyone to come join us and show little Iz-O all the love and support possible on this special day. The registration deadline is September 26th. For those of you who won’t be able to join us on the walk in person, you can still join our team and show your support financially by making a donation under our team’s name. Click on the links to print the needed forms.
What is a Buddy Walk®? The Buddy Walk® was developed by the National Down Syndrome Society in 1995 to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October and to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. The Buddy Walk® has grown for 17 walks in 1995 to nearly 300 walks planned for 2014 worldwide. In 2013, more than $12.2 million was raised nationwide to benefit local programs and services, as well as the national advocacy and public awareness initiatives of NDSS that benefit all individuals with Down syndrome.
Funds raised by the Central Arkansas Buddy Walk will go to help Arkansas Special Olympics, Miracle League, Arkansas Down Syndrome Association, the National Down Syndrome Society, and Central Arkansas Buddy Talk.
1st Annual Central Arkansas Buddy Walk (2012)
2nd Annual Central Arkansas Buddy Walk (2013)
I know there are so many other really great causes out there that deserve our attention and donations, but this is truly the most important event for our family since it not only helps encourage and build friendships with other DS families, it is an incredible opportunity to raise positive awareness. At last year’s event, while setting up the tables at registration, we had people walk up to us and start asking questions about what it was for and other details. Any opportunity like that to share the joys of DS is a worthy cause. Just the other day while eating lunch with the boys at Sam’s Club, a little girl got up to leave with her family and turned around to stare more at I and said quite loudly, “That boy is weird and looks ugly!” My first reaction was anger – at her cruelty and her parents for not correcting her, but then my broken heart overcame my anger. Ignorance and the lack of compassion is something that we need to strive daily to overcome. I wonder if that family had ever had the privilege of spending time with individuals with DS? My guess is the answer is NO for if they had, their lives would have been changed for the better and the cruel words would have instead been a friendly smile and wave.
Spreading positive DS awareness helps stamp out the ignorance and negative stereo types as well as gives people the opportunity to develop compassion and understanding when spending time around those with DS and their loved ones.