The Buddy Walk® is a fun and rewarding opportunity to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome and celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Whether you have Down syndrome, know someone who does, or just want to show your support, your participation and generosity is greatly appreciated!
The Buddy Walk® was established in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society to celebrate Down syndrome and to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. Anyone can be a buddy!
DsO Needs Your Help!
The Buddy Walk 2018 will mark the 15th year of Buddy Walk® in Whatcom County! The event is a highlight for the Down syndrome Outreach community, bringing together members, friends and family to walk and celebrate with each other. The annual Buddy Walk® in Whatcom county has grown over the years from a grass-roots event with a handful of families to a ‘full-on’ celebration with live music, food, activities, games and the 1-mile walk through Bellingham’s downtown streets. Last year, over 450 community members participated! Down syndrome Outreach reaches over 90 individuals & families in our community with direct support and services, accessing support meetings, receiving information and education through our lending library, and connecting and networking with other parents. We receive limited funding for these direct services and rely on donations and sponsorships through the year to hold the Buddy Walk and other events. DsO is an exceptional program of support, inclusion and acceptance that is truly unique. This year we are asking the community and local businesses to join with us in supporting the Buddy Walk. In 2017, the total cost to host Buddy Walk was over $15,000.
With very limited resources available to host the event in 2018, The Down syndrome Outreach Advisory Team has set a goal of $10,000 committed sponsorships/funds by May 31 to ensure that we can host the event this year.
Ways you can help….
- Become a Buddy Walk sponsor, or connect with businesses for monetary sponsorship opportunities. Contact Jessika to learn how.
- Make a cash donation to Down syndrome Outreach: https://www.classy.org/campaign/dso-buddy-walk/c177466
- Share information with family and friends!
- You can also donate through the Arc of Whatcom County website by clicking Here. Please note on your donation that the funds are in support of Buddy Walk.
- Personalize the Family Friendly Sponsor letter (word document) with your family names (in highlighted areas), and send to family members & friends to ask for their monetary support. You can also share the March Newsletter article with them.
- Volunteer as a Phone Call Captain! People may not be receiving the e-alerts, newsletters or Jessika’s emails, therefore have no idea what is going on! We need volunteers that can help call members of our DsO community (list and script provided by Jessika) and family members/friends. *if 10 volunteers can get 10 people to donate $100, we will be at our goal!* Calls to start once the fundraising platform has been set up.
- Do you have ‘Event Organization’ experience? The DsO Advisory Board is looking for a responsible, effective, dedicated leader to act as official Chairperson for the 2018 Buddy Walk. Please contact Jessika Houston at email@example.com
Buddy Walk Chairperson 2018 Job Description
Serve as main event coordinator for event, or work with another co-chair:
- Coordinate event details such as food vendors, t-shirt ordering and organization, activity stations, necessary permits, and community partners & vendors at event
- Serve as point person for day-of event with Parks & Recreation (Depot Market Square staff), vendors & volunteer leads
- Work with Arc staff and bookkeeper to facilitate communications and vendor payments
- Create and distribute communications to community regarding event, such as writing newsletter articles and other necessary publications
- Update website with current event information
- Organize volunteers for event:
- Buddy Walk Planning Committee: helps with event details, hanging posters around Whatcom County & media outreach (connect with local magazines, newspapers, radio stations, etc.)
- Volunteers for Day of Event: outreach to community, connect with volunteers, get people signed up and delegated to specific stations. Ensure there are enough volunteers for the event (around 60+ needed for day of)
- Help to organize event sponsors, track & follow up with thank you’s
- Organize supplies for event and transportation of items to venue
Start Date: June 1
Schedule is open/flexible. Starting July ~10+ hours per week.
Please let Jessika know if you have any questions!
Down syndrome Outreach Coordinator & Self-Advocacy Coordinator
Phone: (360)715-0170 ext. 304
With Your Support We Can Have Another Buddy Walk!!!!
Want to Get Involved? Here’s How:
Donate & Help Raise Money
The money raised will support local programs for individuals with Down syndrome. With everyone’s active participation and generous support, the possibilities for great services and events become endless!
Down syndrome Outreach is a volunteer committee of family members and compassionate friends. Volunteers are always needed on the day of the event to help set up, give directions, hand out information, and more.
Encourage friends and family to join you!
Check out our Facebook Page & share the event!
This event will be held in an accessible location and sign language interpretation is provided.
The Buddy Walk is co-sponsored by Bellingham Parks and Rec.