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Top 5 Ways to Raise Awareness this Down Syndrome Awareness Month!

   

It’s October, and, while for most, that means breaking out sweaters and jackets, spending weekends raking, putting  patio furniture in storage, and even decorating lawns with pumpkins, ghosts and hay bales. 

However, for those of us who have loved ones with Down syndrome, the significance of this month means so much more.  October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month and therefore the time to make extra effort to celebrate those we care about with Down syndrome!

Here at the MDSC, we are very excited and busy as we prepare to host our 17th Annual Buddy Walk and Family Festival on October 13 at Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield.  Our members have been working hard to raise funds and awareness at all of our Buddy Walks this year, and the effort and enthusiasm of our collective community is truly inspiring!

This energy and momentum has prompted us to look at other ways we can educate others about Down syndrome.  We’ve come up with the top 5 ways to raise awareness in your own community.

5.  Host a Community Fund Raiser

Looking to clear out your garage or basement?  Are your children’s long forgotten toys invading every free corner in your home?   Host a yard sale!  Did you know that the MDSC will provide you with an official MDSC endorsement letter, a personal fundraising page if needed, access to use our name and logo, and other helpful tips for turning this seasonal clean-up into a public awareness and fundraising event?  Click on the link below to learn more!

http://www.mdsc.org/getinvolved/Fundraise.cfm

4.  Use Social Media

It’s as easy as re-tweeting or clicking “like” or “share”.  For better or for worse, we are a very connected society.  Checking Facebook or Twitter has certainly become part of many of our daily routines.  Use this month to go out of your way and post about your loved one with Down syndrome.  Share pictures or stories about inspiring or educational moments in your own life.

One easy, far reaching way to raise awareness is to share some of the informative or inspirational posts that you encounter on your own personal newsfeeds.   Sharing some of that information with your larger circle is a very easy way to educate others. 

3.  Wear Your Gear

Going grocery shopping?  Heading to the gym?  Break out those Buddy Walk t-shirts and wear them proudly! 

It may seem like a simple thing, but when you are wearing t-shirts or hats that promote a message, suddenly the person standing behind you in line at Market Basket, or the guy on the treadmill behind you, is thinking about Down syndrome.  You may even get a chatty customer to ask you about it.  This is a quick, easy way to promote awareness while looking great!!!

2. Share Information With Your School

For families who have school-age children, promoting awareness about Down syndrome in your schools will benefit both your child and others through teaching those who are in the school community more about the potential of people with Down syndrome.

Create an All About Me poster with your child, so you can highlight the special interests of your child.  Include lots of pictures in order to show the community that we are all “more alike than different”.

The National Down Syndrome Society has an abundance of resources, including a recently released “Get to Know Me” poster and lesson plan.  Click on the link below to get information and order your copy.

http://www.ndss.org/About-NDSS/Newsroom/Recent-News/Get-to-Know-Me-Poster-and-Lesson-Plan/

Also, be sure to check out these other resources from NDSS that you may want to share with your school to increase their library of resources. 

http://www.ndss.org/Resources/Education/Education--Down-Syndrome/

1. Create a Table at your Community Library

Ask your local library for a table where you can create a display of basic information about Down syndrome.  Local libraries are at the center of communities, and organizing a display is an accessible, visible way for members of your community to be educated with the most recent, up-to-date information about Down syndrome.

Create and display an “All About Me” poster about your loved one with Down syndrome.  Include information on the poster that will help people look beyond some of the long-standing stereotypes and expectations about people with Down syndrome.   

Each public library in Massachusetts has a collection of books donated to them by the MDSC.  These resources can be displayed, along with informational fact sheets created by the National Down Syndrome Society.

Click here for a PDF version of the Public Library book list

Click here to link to the NDSS website in order to download and print PDF resources for your display. http://www.ndss.org/Down-Syndrome/

Keep in Touch!

We know that our members must have dozens of other creative ideas to promote awareness.  Please feel free to share your ideas with us!

We look forward to hearing about your community success stories.  Please share them with us as a way to inspire others!  Please post your ideas and stories to our Facebook page.

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