COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Down Syndrome Association of the Brazos Valley shares how fundraising efforts, like the one this weekend, help raise money for programs, classes, socials, and more for those with Down Syndrome in the area.
The non-profit began operating 20 years ago as a support group for individuals, couples, families, friends, advocates, and professionals.
Since then, the DSABV has overcome many obstacles to remain an invaluable resource to the community.
Amanda Bennett, along with her two-and-a-half-year-old son, Abel, are members of the group.
She said getting the knowledge and perspectives of those in similar situations is important, especially to new parents of children with Down Syndrome.
“Emotionally, physically, so just being there throughout this journey, I think it’s so important to have people that are going through the same thing as you... I always say when we go to little events, it’s like yes, we’re amongst our people” Bennet said.
Bennet said the group is a welcoming association that loves everyone. Bennett also said Abel has fun making friends at the summer camps because it gives him a chance to interact with kids like him.
One of the main goals of the DSABV is to ensure members don’t feel forgotten and the Dash for Down Syndrome is one way of doing that.
“It is such an exciting time to not only to be able to have our members there but the entire community that supports them... Having our family members, and our friends and people that are involved with them and those that are not on a daily basis, just to come and join them for the day and raise money, what more can you ask for?” Bennet said.
The celebration and run will be at Wolf Pen Park on Sunday, Oct. 9. The gates will open at 10 a.m., and there will be entertainment, raffles, and more.
Bennet said the uneasiness many felt after the pandemic is very similar to those with Down Syndrome without non-profits like this one.
“If they’re not socializing and they’re not using their skills, their social skills, they might get lost,” Bennet said.
She advises people that may not have experience with those with Down Syndrome to come up, and introduce themselves, as it’s always better to ask questions rather than just stare.
If you’re interested in joining or creating a team for the Dash for Down Syndrome, as well as other ways you can help, you can find that information on their website.