fromear2ear

Noteworthy progress in the community, anecdotes, recommendations, and more

Catching Up Part 1: Down Syndrome Awareness Month

on November 10, 2013

As usual, life got crazy and I disappeared off the face of the internet- or at least my blog. I have so many things to write about! At 21, I’m still figuring out life and how to manage everything, so sometimes I am forced to put this on the back burner. Hence my posting time of two in the morning. Blah.

Anywho, tonight’s installment of my “Catching Up” series is about October, a.k.a. Down Syndrome Awareness Month! It was such a crazy month. Our main focus was the North Texas Buddy walk, so my DS awareness month started earlier than most. Let’s rewind to September…

I had the privilege of being the captain of the buddy walk team again this year, so I began my insane journey through captain-ship bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, listening to stories from seasoned captains with a hunger for the same successes. Every spare moment was spent crafting awareness ribbons (bedazzled, of course) until the living room was covered in tiny bits of blue and yellow. Seriously, our couch still has glitter and hot glue strings on it.

One out of several batches...

One out of several batches…


I typed up colorful flyers and papered my college campus, every Starbucks in the area, my neighbors, family, friends, strangers in parking lots, businesses, Facebook, email, local schools, the works. The pages of notes I’d taken were surely enough to prepare me for anything! Yeah… no. People don’t read flyers, FYI. Some will even throw them away right in front of you! My list of potential sponsors quickly whittled down to a small handful of contacts, and eventually, like, one person- my eye doctor that I’ve been seeing for 13 years now. Yay! Exciting, right?

Unfortunately, the rejections I did get were reminiscent of my days as a girl scout delivering cookies- half the people who ordered them would change their mind once you asked for money. Add a few slammed doors and a little girl’s crushed dreams of being the top cookie seller in her troop, and BAM! You’ve got my version of 1999. That’s okay. I didn’t want that cool bike with the pink streamers anyway… Moving on from my flashback…

Thanks to a very helpful suggestion from other captains, I hit the pavement again in search of local businesses willing to host a fundraiser night. Finally we were able to nail down two restaurants for fundraiser nights! Cool, right??? I thought so too. The first fundraiser in late September was a flop. I don’t just mean kind of bad. I mean empty restaurant, tumbleweeds rolling by, total devastation of all hope. It sucked. BAD.
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The second one was much better, thank God! We had more friends and family show up, as well as a few people who actually read the flyers I passed out. It was definitely the boost in morale that our team needed. Cookie’s parents worked hard getting the team shirts made, I kept schlepping ribbons and flyers, and we worked down to the last second. I personally spent over 100 hours working on the buddy walk stuff.

The day before funds were due, over half of our team had not registered yet, much to my chagrin. Patience is a virtue… just not one I’m good at.

Suddenly, donations and registrations came pouring in!!! We ended up with about 20 walkers registered on our team and raised $1013. I was thrilled, along with Cookie and her family. I was also so exhausted that I wanted to cry, but being thrilled canceled that out nicely. 🙂

The Buddy Walk went great and everyone had a blast. We were all so tired that I’m pretty sure nobody moved from their couch for the rest of the weekend, but it was worth it. We wore our ribbons all month and rocked the blue and yellow, spreading awareness everywhere we went!

Ugh. This post is not particularly well-written, which is kind of pathetic since it’s the first in months, but the month was so exhausting that reliving it now even wears me out! The important thing is that the team had fun and Cookie rocked her extra chromosome as usual. I love her so much. She inspires me to live hardcore. Laugh louder, hug tighter, love harder…

Here are some pics from the walk…
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I love you guys. Thanks for sticking with me through all the dry spells!

From Ear 2 Ear,

Amber

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