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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Buddy Walk

Once a year in numerous cities throughout the US, the National Association for Down Syndrome sponsors a Buddy Walk (BW). These BWs usually take place in Oct to coincide with National Down Syndrome Awareness Month (although some do take place in Sep).

So what is a BW? Well that's what I'm here to tell you about!

It's a one-mile walk to raise money, awareness, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. It started in 1995 with 17 locations across the US. Last year for it's 10th year there were over 260 Walks in the US and abroad. Approximately 5.5 million dollars were raised in the US. More than 225,000 individuals participated in a Walk. Since the BW inception 1,500,000 people have participated - wow! And each year it just continues to grow and grow.

We participated in our first BW when Kayla was almost 3 months old. We figured we might as well get involved now! It was just the 3 of us and we were new to the whole thing, but we enjoyed it.

The following year they didn't have one in that same location, so we found another location to go to. That year I sent out an email to friends and family asking if they would sponsor us as Walkers. For some reason I felt uncomfortable asking friends that live in this area to sponsor us; I've just never been comfortable asking people for money! So I never mentioned it to anyone here, we just went by ourselves. We did raise $440 from the money friends and family sent us from out-of-state to sponsor us.

Last year I decided to step out of my comfort zone and ask people we know here to either Walk with us (I wanted to get a Team together this time) or if they couldn't walk with us if they would sponsor us instead. I don't know what I was so worried about! We had such a wonderful response! We had 20 people walking on our team - "Kayla's Crusaders" and we raised $1100! I was so touched by the support we recieved. We had a great time and I think everyone else did too! We had the most on our team so we got to lead the Walk last year. You can read about it and see pictures on our website.



So now I'm gearing up for another BW which will take place in just a few weeks and I've set my goal to raise $1500 this year...wish me luck!

23 comments:

LauraJ said...

Good luck!! Do you have paypal?? I can give you the 2 bucks I got in there to start you on reaching your goal.
You can sign up for it and it's free. Let me know alright?

Beck said...

That's terrific! Let me know if you set up a Paypal account!

The Imperfect Christian said...

Good luck, girl!! I hope you make your goal! We're going to do the walk next year, when the girls are a bit older!

always_chaos2 said...

Good luck Michelle!!!

andria said...

I will have to see if they do one here....something to consider as a family.

Overwhelmed! said...

Michelle, that is fantastic! Do I have your mailing address? If you email it to me, I'd be happy to mail you a contribution to help you reach your goal this year! :)

Catch said...

wonderful Michelle.....and let me know if you set up a paypal acct....I would love to donate! Or if you want I can send it to you in the mail...its a very worthy cause and I am happy to do it. Huggs girlfriend.

trisomymommy said...

Best of luck with the Buddy Walk. I haven't done one yet, but I plan to once Miss B gets a little older.
Yep, keep us posted on your paypal status!

PEA said...

What a terrific idea to have such a walk...I wish I lived near you so that I could participate in the walk!! If you set up a paypal account, I bet a lot of your blogging friends would love to sponsor you, me included:-) Best of luck and HUGS to you and Kayla!!

Barb said...

I'll bet you can reach that goal. If my husband hadn't lost his job I'd contribute.

LeslieAnn said...

GOOD LUCK and HAVE FUN! That is awesome about y'all's team last year! We planned to walk in Arkansas, but now we're in Florida and hoping to find a walk here. Jack would have so much fun!
Take lots of pictures and have a great time!
:)

Paulette said...

Hey I would like to contribute, for your precious baby and my cayti girl as well. Sounds like an awesome adventure!!

Melany aka Supermom said...

Good luck! If it wasn't near imposible to transfer money from South africa, I would have given you a donation

Shelley said...

Good luck - NSW DSA is having a 'Walk WIth a Mate' here but unfortunately it is on the twins birthday so I doubt that we will make it. I hope that you have a great time and reach the loot target set.

Nisa said...

I hope you reach your goal. You know I have my whole family sponsoring you!

chelle said...

The Buddy Walk sounds so wonderful! I so adore that you have a team rallied around you. I would have been hesitant to ask at first too, but how wonderful how everyone comes together!
Looks like you will have your online community rally around your family too!

Deb said...

Good luck! Could you drop me a line and let me know your mailing address? :)

Pamela said...

Michelle, how wonderful, just the two of us walk or bicycle or bowl or whatever for several different causes, and I have never used paypal but I will look into it and if not I will get your address. You have been a great friend and I love your family!

Stephanie said...

Woah, you are already doing great!!

Pamela said...

Good, hope all goes well. I need to check my E-mails better. :)

jotcr2 said...

great idea to get a team together like Kayla's crusaders

Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

Count me in as wanting to know if you have a PayPal account.. I'm in!

amt said...

Hello! My name is Angela, and I live in SC. This weekend is the greater Greenville DS Buddy Walk, and we are SO excited about it!

Kayla looks like a beautiful treasure of a girl. I'll try to stop by your blog more often. =)

grace & peace.