Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Shane and Wyatt Down Syndrome Foundation

The Shane and Wyatt Down Syndrome Foundation (SWDSF) is now open for business.  This Foundation will have two primary points of focus.  The first will be to recognize those in our schools and communities that are making a difference in the everyday lives of those with Down syndrome or special needs.  The second will be to assist individuals or families, who may not always ask, but who could use  a helping hand.
First, I spend a lot of time advocating for my sons and educating those who may not know of the challenges, struggles, joys and success of having a child (or twins) with Down syndrome or special needs.  With this in mind, SWDSF will establish a scholarship program for high school seniors to be used to continue their education after High School.  This award will go to a senior who has shown leadership while advocating, fundraising or volunteering to help and assist those with special needs.  I hope to establish at least two scholarships in two different High Schools for the class of 2013.  SWDSF will also establish a community award that will go to an individual with Down syndrome or to a sibling of an individual with Down syndrome who has made a significant contribution to the Down syndrome community.  For this award, since I will come out to meet the person and conduct the presentation, we will initially limit this to those living in the Northeastern United States.  I hope one day to be traveling the country delivering this award.  My hope is that nominations would come from the nominee’s friends, family or local Down syndrome group.  This is an opportunity to work together and say thanks to those who are making a difference.
Secondly, SWDSF will establish a program to assist individuals and families in purchasing learning tools, iPads or supplies that will positively impact a person’s life so that this person may reach their full potential as a person.  SWDSF has already secured donations to purchase an iPad that will be delivered next month to a family in PA.  This family also has twin boys with Ds, are non-verbal and have autism.  After notifying their Mom this past weekend and after a few back and forth emails, this was the last email from her that I received:  “Thank you!!!!!!!!!!! And I KNOW this will help the boys unlock what's inside their smart little heads”  I hope so!!  This is why this program is so important.  Hopefully, we will be able to assist many more families as well.  
This Foundation will only work and be successful if we all get involved.  SWDSF will need financial assistance and with your help and through your donations along with fundraising activities, we can make this possible.  I realize that there are many family obligations, financial stresses, other charities and such, but I know we can make a difference and we will, one family at a time.  Also, my goal was not to rival other local Down syndrome groups or organizations to but work with them to recognize those who are making a significant contribution and to develop a program to assist families.
We are planning a Fundraising Dinner / Dance for later this year, more information to follow on this event.  If you are interested in sponsoring an event or hosting a fundraiser, please reach out to me so that we can discuss this in more detail.  
I hope you find what we are doing valuable and beneficial.  Please consider making a donation so that we can really hit the ground running.  Every donation is important, with no amount being to small.  
I am so excited and I know together we can make a difference.  The first iPad is being delivered next month and the first community award will be presented shortly as well.  This is just the beginning!!
Please send donations to:
Shane and Wyatt Down Syndrome Foundation
PO Box 214
Lehighton, PA  18235
My email address is ericwaxy@ptd.net  
Again, THANK YOU!!
Shane and Wyatt Down Syndrome Foundation 

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