Today’s Weekend Wishlist holds a number of resources and organizations to support the Down syndrome community! These are organizations you can also benefit from supporting (such as with the Congratulations Project Book) but each organization also has a place for donations to support the programming that they offer to the Down syndrome community!
PALS creates inclusive experiences for people with and without Down syndrome. These programs change attitudes, transform lives and inspire a world of belonging. The PALS family views this month as an opportunity to support the work towards inclusion and belonging. We call it PALS Magic, a feeling of connection and purpose through transformative friendships, and it is a vital piece to the mission.
“I want people to know that there is hope that this world could be different. That we could live in a world that loves openly and deeply and fiercely. That we could be a people who is capable of loving all people despite all difference. I know that it is possible – because for a week, it was my reality”
– PALS Volunteer
Ways to support the PALS Programs:
- Congratulations Project Book
This could be, in my opinion, one of the most profound ways to contribute to the PALS Programs while learning to understand the impact this community has. The Congratulations Project is a movement in the Down syndrome community with the hope of changing the dialogue, moving to a simple “congratulations” when parents are informed their child has Down syndrome. The book features handwritten letters from individuals with Down syndrome, these letters are sent to new members of the Down syndrome community. The Congratulations Project will be featured this month as part of Tuesday Takeaway series however you can purchase the book here!
As with any program hoping to reach individuals and serve a population, donations are everything! Any little bit will directly benefit the life of another human being. I can provide testimony of the value of these programs and the authenticity of the programs mission. Funding helps to provide financial assistance to campers who may otherwise not be able to engage in programming!
- PALS Swag!
PALS has a store with tons of options for swag including t-shirts, sweatshirts and other miscellaneous items. This month PALS released a one-of-a-kind PALS shirt commemorating Down Syndrome Awareness Month 2020 featuring the message “We all belong” referencing the PALS mission of inspiring a world of belonging. There are three hand drawn lines beneath “all” symbolic of the third 21st chromosome. Shirts are available through 10/22 for $15!
Bitty & Beau’s
“Where diversity isn’t just appreciated, it’s celebrated”
Bitty & Beau’s is more than a cup of coffee. Bitty & Beau’s is run by the Wright Family who are advocates for the value, inclusions and acceptance of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The coffee shop is changing the way people see, value, respect, accept, include and love other people; specifically those who are different than themselves. This coffee shop is more than a place to grab coffee – it’s an experience. The shop is run by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. While the coffee is great, we keep returning for the unique customer service experience.
“When you value people, accepting and including them comes naturally”
How to support Bitty & Beau’s:
Bitty & Beau’s has a shop filled with all your dream items. I’m a regular ordering coffee grinds as we haven’t been lucky enough to have a shop in New England (YET!) however there are perfect everyday items to add to your wardrobe! Each purchase supports this ever-growing movement for change!
Bitty & Beau’s Coffee is more than just a place to grab a cup of coffee – it’s an experience. While the shop is run by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the customers love the products, they really come in for the unique customer service experience. I have been lucky enough to visit two locations – they are currently located in Wilmington, NC Charleston, SC Savannah, GA and Annapolis, MD!
- Buy a gift card for someone! Much as we’ve seen through the COVID-19 outbreak, gift cards are a perfect way to support our service industry that needs it now more than ever!
Love People Movement
“You are Loved”
More than a Sweatshirt – this has been developed by sisters to acknowledge the importance of spreading love. Their mission statement is as simple as “We often don’t realize how powerful love is. […] to spread love in a world that needs it. As humans, we are often so wrapped up in our own worlds that we forget to do the very thing we were created for, to love others. Love is the only thing we need in this life to be truly happy. Love your family, love your friends, but most importantly, love the people you believe deserve it the least. They are often the ones who need it the most.”
“Spread love everywhere you go, let no one ever come to you without feeling happier” – Mother Teresa
Support this movement by shopping their online store here!
As with anything you can always make donations to your local Special Olympics Organization, The National Down Syndrome Society, The National Down Syndrome Congress, or The National Association for Down Syndrome!