It has been 9 years since a Buddy Walk has been held in Lincoln Nebraska, and we are excited to be bringing an official Buddy Walk back to the area in 2018. The Buddy Walk is being held on March 17th at Gateway Mall in Lincoln, and will allow families to spread awareness, have fun, win prizes and hopefully raise a little money too. Here are 7 reasons why you should consider supporting the 2018 Star City Buddy Walk.
1. It is Indoor! By walking inside Gateway Mall we get to do something that very few other walks around can do - guarantee a comfortable walking environment. The mall allows walkers the ability to shed their coats and wear their walk shirt with pride so that everyone in the community that comes to the mall that day can see that we support the Nebraska Down syndrome community.
2. It is an Open House. - As parents of children with Down syndrome we understand that Saturdays are busy and that large crowds can cause stress for some of our loved ones. By allowing walkers to walk anytime between 8 am and noon, we can allow families to come before the mall crowds arrive, fit an awareness activity into their hectic Saturday schedules, and spread awareness over a longer period of time.
3. We need to Spread Awareness, Every. Chance. We. Get. Comedians and video streaming services that feel it is OK to get a laugh and make money at the expense of people with an extra chromosome, Independent sellers mocking people with special needs. Kids being bullied at schools. People making inappropriate comments on feel good news stories involving Individuals with Down syndrome. These are all recent examples of why our advocacy efforts are needed. Individuals with Down syndrome are valuable members of society and by participating in awareness events, we can help educate others about the many strengths, abilities and gifts of those in the Trisomy 21 community. As our shirt logo says, Be the Change, because we are Lucky and Blessed!
4. Inclusion- For many of us inclusion is a daily battle that we fight in our schools and communities. One of our goals for the Star City Buddy Walk is to make sure that every family in the Nebraska Down syndrome community feels welcome and included at the Buddy Walk. It is important that we take this opportunity to advocate and spread awareness. Our registered VIP guests with Down syndrome get a free Buddy Walk t-shirt. Family members walking with them can come for free or order their own buddy walk shirt for just $15 ($18 shipped). Those who walk wearing Star City Buddy Walk t-shirts can earn raffle tickets by walking to try to win some great raffle prizes. Some of the prizes include a 4 Night 5 Day stay in Branson, Mo, a Down syndrome awareness basket, a family 4 pack of tickets to the Lincoln Children's Zoo, a Signing Time basket, restaurant gift cards and more. Walkers who earn raffle tickets can choose which prizes they want to try to win.
5. World Down Syndrome Day- We host our walk every year in March in Honor of World Down syndrome Day. March 21st, is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. The date for WDSD being the 21st day of the 3rd month, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.
6. St. Patrick's Day- This year our walk fell on St. Patrick's Day and we can't think of a better way to celebrate than to also honor our loved ones with Down syndrome.
7. Programming- While raising positive awareness about Down syndrome is the main goal of our walk, we are also a 501(c)(3) recognized non-profit who relies on donations from the community to help fund our advocacy efforts. Supporting our organization will help us continue to provide families with IEP Support, a Resource Library, Family Connections Events, New Parent and Medical Outreach, Advocacy Alerts and more We hope you will consider supporting our important work and mission.
Supporting Star City Buddy Walk is easy and there are many way you can help. You can register or donate on our website, form a team, walk as part of the general event or to just learn more about this fun, inclusive awareness walk. To share the fun with others, please print or share this .pdf flyer. Would you like a flyer that features your loved one with Down syndrome? We can do that too. Contact us to find out more. You can also donate in person at the event. We hope you will support the 2018 Star City Buddy Walk and celebrate those in the Nebraska Down syndrome community this March!
This design is a great conversation starter. However, we understand and can related to parents who want to be part of the movement, but are not really comfortable with the thought of getting a tattoo. This year we have included the Lucy Few arrows on the Buddy Walk T-shirt. Our walk is going to be held on St. Patrick's Day, and we are going to have so much fun walking and spreading awareness wearing this shirt. Those who walk wearing a shirt will also be eligible to earn raffle tickets to win some awesome prizes. Register by March 2nd to be ensure you get a shirt.
.Contest #2 is going on now until February 3rd. Every team that adds new members, (including new teams) will be entered into a drawing to win a #theluckyfewnecklace. donated by Ben's Brigade. Get one entry for every new team member added. Go to Star City Buddy Walk to get registered. See more necklaces styles by clicking here.
The 2017 Star City Buddy Walk hosted by The Down Syndrome Advocates in Action (DSAA NE) will take place at Gateway Mall on Saturday, March 17th 2018! This is the largest annual fundraising and awareness event hosted by DSAA NE . The Buddy Walk was established in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. This year’s event will take place near the Food Court at Gateway Mall and will feature games, and fun for all of the walkers who support the Nebraska Down syndrome community
If you are not already familiar with DSAA NE, it is a growing nonprofit 501c (3) organization founded 2 years ago to respond to the needs of families of loved ones with Down syndrome here in Nebraska! Our organization’s mission is to advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. We actively pursue inclusion of individuals who have Down syndrome in all areas of life so they embrace opportunities to contribute and be valued members of society.
To fulfill this mission of advocacy, DSAA NE relies on community support, generous contributions from local businesses, and volunteer-based fundraising activities. Your help would be greatly appreciated! Many of our supporters have found that participating in the Buddy Walk is a great way to give back to an important cause and demonstrates their sincere belief in the future of the local community.
Walkers can walk as part of the general event, create teams and even fund raise. Use the button below to go to the Buddy Walk website. Thank you for your support! .
We are proud to have worked with 10/11 Now to create this Public Service Announcement. We would like to thank Sara F,, Paul S,. and Jamie A. for rocking their speaking parts and all the families who submitted photos to be included in the PSA. We think 10/11 did a great job of creating and editing the 30 second spot that will air all month on their station. Thank you to everyone who had a hand in spreading awareness across the state of Nebraska this October! Click here to see the PSA.
Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month! Each day during October we will be posting one of the posters from our awareness poster campaign. Posters are being displayed across Nebraska.
Meet Paul who is a young adult with a very active social life. He can often be found playing basketball,and tennis, and he walks regularly for exercise. Paul enjoys painting, playing the baritone and bowling. He works at a local grocery store and often has a smile on his face. Paul is a good friend to many and has many good friends of his own.
Individuals can sponsor a poster for as little as $10. Click here to sponsor a poster.
Just six days ago we closed our online survey where we asked families in the local Down Syndrome Community what supports and resources were important to them. Over 70 people responded to the survey. While we haven't had a chance to completely analyze all the data to report back to you, there was one thing that stood out above the rest. Over half the families only attend 1-2 events a year because they are busy, and the events are not conveniently located for them.
You spoke. We listened. We took action. We would like to announce the creation of a new webinar series to help families who have a loved one with Down syndrome in the state of Nebraska. The very first Family Connection Webinar will be held on Friday, June 23 at 8PM. Our topic will be Celiac Disease and gluten free eating. You will be able to join the webinar from your computer, smartphone or tablet. We would like to ask everyone to bring one or two of their favorite gluten-free recipes to share with the group. Our webinar will be 30 minutes long. If after the 30 minutes are up, there are participants who want to continue the discussion, we will take a 10 to 15 minute break and have a final 40 minute session starting at approximately 8:45.
We plan to continue hosting monthly webinars, and may work up to doing them more often if families have hot topics to discuss. We are already working on additional topics like potty training, sign language, IEP's and more.
We have created a closed Facebook group to help us manage the discussions and where we can privately share information and links and reocording of our webinars. Click here to join our private group and get the invitation link to the first webinar.
Thank you to everyone who came out and supported our Mall Walk for Down syndrome and the Nebraska Down syndrome community. It was great to see so many people walking in Down Syndrome Advocate T-shirts spreading awareness around the mall! The walk helped to raise over $4,000 for Down Sydnrome Advocates in Action Nebraska. This money will help us build our new group and expand our current offerings. We can do more to help families by attending IEP's, housing a resource library, hosting fun events like the walk and ball night, and doing peer presentation. We apprecatie everyone in the commuity who volunteered and walked for this great cause! Thank you!
We would like to invite you to attend the Mall Walk for Down Syndrome on March 11, 2017 at Gateway Mall.. Come any time between 9 am and noon and walk at your own pace following any route you would like. Walk wearing a Down Syndrome Advocate t-shirt or Button and earn raffle tickets for each mall lap completed (up to 3 per serson). Help us celebrate World Down Syndrome Day, spread awareness and support all individuals with Down syndrome in our community! Click here to register. #dsaamallwalk
Happy New Year and Happy 1st Anniversary to Down Syndrome Advocates in Action (DSAA NE)! It is hard to believe that it has just been one year since we made our first official public post.
As 2016 draws to a close, we want to thank you for allowing us be a part of your lives. We are happy to be here for you to offer resources, support and guidance. It is our sincere wish that DSAA will continue to be where you turn when you need to.
As the newest support group for Nebraskan's who have a loved one with Down syndrome we had an awesome first year. Here are some of the highlights.
Created a new website
Lobbied and testified to help pass the Down Syndrome Information and Support Act
Held an awareness walk
Provided support for families
Hosted events like ball night, parent coffees, family picnic, & teen and adult holiday party
Did peer presentations
Participated in ONE Coalition to help put on events like the Valentine Dance and Husker Heroes.
Celebrated Down Syndrome Awareness Month with a poster campaign and blog challenge
Created a resource library
And last but not least:
Elected a board, adopted bylaws, incorporated, and officially became a 501(c)(3) Not-for-Profit Organization.
It is amazing what a small group of people can do when they are called to be advocates. We are looking forward to what 2017 will bring. Your voice is important and we value your input and look forward to hearing from you about new programing you woud like to see going forward. Other ways you can make a positive impact on the Nebraska Down Syndrome community would be to:
We appreciate any and all support that allows us to continue our existing programming and create new programs to make a positive impact in the lives of individuals with Down syndrome. We have some great ideas for 2017, and can't wait to share them with you. We would love to hear your great ideas as well! Be sure to Connect with us and invite others to do the same.
Wishing you all a safe and prosperous New Year!
Deb Safarik, President
Angie Willey, Vice President & Secretary
Today we celebrated National Inclusive Schools week by going to a school and doing a peer presentation for a 3rd grade class who happens to have a classmate who has Down syndrome. The kids were great and I think they enjoyed participating in our presentation. The school is doing a great job of promonting inclusion for all learners. While we were there, we got to see a few of the teachers and administrations be recognized for the great job they are doing in they are doing with inclusion at their school. Thank you for allowing us to speak to your class and teach you a little bit about Down syndrome