Happy Giving Tuesday! Today is the day we give back to our communities. To show you the impact that your generosity has on families, we'd like to introduce you to Beth and Kevin.
"When we received our diagnosis, we were so scared, so worried, and we didn't know where to initially go for answers. Heck, we didn't even know what questions to ask. It didn't help that both the preliminary and confirmed diagnosis of Down syndrome were delivered in an entirely negative way."
Because of their experience, Beth and Kevin decided to become Support Parents through our Parent's First Call program and partnership with Parent to Parent of Wisconsin. Knowing what it's like to feel scared and alone, they wanted to be there for families who didn't know where to go. They wanted to provide other parents "that freedom to cry, to laugh, to vent, to be scared, but without any judgement." After a one day training, Beth and Kevin were ready to be matched with parents looking for resources and support. They are thankful they "get to pay it forward" and "feel it is an absolute honor to be able to be Support Parents."
The Parent's First Call Support Parent program not only benefits new parents, but it has a huge impact on the Support Parents too. At the training, Beth and Kevin learned that "grief will come in waves, at different points in both our and the child's life. We need to give ourselves permission for these feelings. Going through this training and learning this, it was only then that I was able to finally forgive myself for feeling so angry, so sad.. and to give myself permission when those feelings come up at different points now."
After their training, Beth and Kevin were matched with Stacey and Chad. They first "met" over the phone, but when they met for the first time in person at a DSAW Parent's Night Out, Beth and Kevin "really felt like we were seeing people we'd known our entire lives." Beth remembers seeing them come in and running to give Stacey a hug. They became fast friends, and now Beth and Kevin "can't imagine our lives without Chad, Stacey, Timothy and Anthony in it!" They share stories of their experiences and their struggles, and both couples know that they can count on each other for support.
When you support DSAW, you are supporting lifelong friendships created through our Parent's First Call program. You are giving scared and uncertain parents the opportunity to connect with people who have walked in their shoes.
Today is Giving Tuesday. By donating today, you can give others the gift of comfort and community that Beth, Kevin, Stacey, and Chad found in DSAW.
Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin
PS - DSAW relies on your generosity to provide support, programs, and services for our friends with Down syndrome and their families! Make a difference today by donating to DSAW.