Can you believe that it's almost 2017? We know you're busy getting ready for a night of celebration, but will you take a minute to read this letter? There's still time to make a life-changing gift before the end of the fiscal year that impacts families like mine.
In the beginning, as we were trying to wrap our head around what having a child with Down Syndrome meant to our family, I started to scour the internet in search of resources and "people like us." That's when I found DSAW. It wasn't until we attended our first Down Syndrome awareness walk in Burlington that we realized the strength of the community we just became part of! I remember being so awestruck by how many people--strangers!--came up to talk with us, snuggle Aubrey, and share their story and tips about how to gain access to resources.
For example, one member shared how to contact DSAW to receive meal tickets while Aubrey was at Children's for heart surgery. We emailed DSAW and they provided meal tickets for our entire stay. We felt taken care of while she recovered. All of this positive connection was exactly what we needed. I then started signing up for more opportunities: A mom's group, a playdate, the Zoo Walk. With every opportunity came a new connection, a new resource to check out, a new number exchanged. Each experience continues to push us just a little out of our comfort zone...but in the best way possible every time!
It's hard to believe, but in five years, Aubrey will be entering kindergarten. Our hope is that her teachers see her strengths and use them to build her up. Our hope is for Aubrey to be meaningfully included, for her thoughts to be valued and her contributions recognized. We hope for friendships--sweet kindergarten friendships, honest and true.
To realize this vision, though, we can't walk this journey alone. Our hope is that we, along with all of the wonderful people involved with DSAW, continue to build awareness, fight for access to the best resources to build Aubrey's foundation, and continue to blow the ceiling off of possibilities for our daughter and others with Down Syndrome!!
Would you consider making a year-end gift to help support DSAW's life-changing programs and services? Your donation helps families across the state realize amazing lives for their loved ones with Down syndrome.
PS - It's not too late to donate by mail, too. Donations postmarked today will count towards your 2016 giving.