October 1 begins Down Syndrome “Awareness” Month but awareness is not nearly enough.
Awareness is simply acknowledging an existence, a challenge, etc. Human beings are so more than an existence or a challenge. Acceptance is an ACTION and a commitment to extend consistent value, approval, and empowerment. I’m very fortunate to work at GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Centers and honored to know hundreds of children and adults with Down syndrome as well as their amazing families. They do not benefit from passive “awareness”. Kids do not realize opportunities to excel in school or forge lasting friendships because people are “aware”. Adults with Down syndrome are never offered meaningful jobs because employers are “aware”. Communities don’t unite to foster more accepting schools and online environments by exercising “awareness”. Hope, progress, achievement, friendships, wellness, academics, employment, and lasting change result from ACTION: the action of ACCEPTANCE.
We encourage you and all of your respective networks to use the following hashtags in October in social media posts that have anything to do with acceptance, dignity, generosity, and kindness: #DSAM & GenerationG: a movement to be better every day. To be more accepting, generous and kind. We also ask that you please make the time to visit a GiGi’s Playhouse in your community. Spend 30 minutes visiting with participants and families. Introduce your children to our children. Continue supporting opportunities for kids with Down syndrome to be accepted in school activities including sports, arts, social events and of course academics. Consider the opportunity to hire a young adult with Down syndrome at your company or extend them a meaningful volunteer opportunity. Become a Facebook Fan of GiGi’s Playhouse, Inc. and follow a journey of empowerment, inspiration, courage, achievement, and acceptance. Acceptance will grow with your help.
Join the Generation G movement and encourage your friends to do the same! Snap a selfie (or an “usie”) with your Gen G heart on your hand and be sure to tag us!
Be sure to join us on our 321 Days fo Acceptance Campain where we are introducing 321 unique individuals with Down syndrome to the world! Showing how wonderful each life truly is!
Happy Down Syndrome ACCEPTANCE Month to all!