Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

DSAM17 – Day 23 – $$$

on October 23, 2017

Let me start with this: I am not asking you to make a donation.  Just FYI.

One of the things that really has surprised me is the number of Down syndrome advocacy groups that exist.  I think it is pretty great that most families can find some way to connect with others and be a part of the larger Down syndrome community.  Groups exist to inform, inspire, educate, advocate… whatever your passion is within this world, you can likely find a group that will fit your beliefs.

We are thankful to have the means to support some of these organizations with our time or our money.  But, it has created a bit of a conundrum for us – how do we decide which organizations to support? 

Each and every family has to decide their priorities for giving.  Here are ours:

1.  We look for groups that align with our vision for Tessa – living an independent life in her community, included in her school, career, and within social circles of her choosing.  What we have sought for help in providing this life for her is information from those who have walked before us.  Our family connects most closely with groups that support our child through inclusion with typical peers, not exclusion in separate spaces.

2. We look for groups with minimal overhead costs.  It is our preference that dollars donated be used directly in support of programming for individuals with Down syndrome and their families.  We are not as likely to support groups with CEOs or directors who make large sums of money.  Our favorite kinds of groups to support are those that are run by volunteers.

3.  Finally, we try to support groups that include individuals with Down syndrome in leadership positions (like on their Boards or other committees).  We believe that in order to best support individuals with Down syndrome, we have to listen to their voices, their needs and concerns.  Very early in Tessa’s life, I heard the phrase “nothing for us without us.”  It has stuck with me for all this time.  It is really vital to hear those voices in the decision-making process for organizations that support life with Down syndrome.

There are three groups that we most often support (either with time or with resources).  Those groups are UPS for DownS (our local group dedicated to the inclusion of individuals with Ds in their communities), the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network (supporting families birth to three as they navigate the diagnosis experience), and Ruby’s Rainbow (providing scholarships for individuals with Ds as they enter post-secondary schooling).

I couldn’t possibly list out all of the other groups that exist that are worthy of attention, but those are our favorites! ❤️

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One response to “DSAM17 – Day 23 – $$$

  1. Mardra says:

    Good Criteria and Good List!

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