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Dear Family & Friends,

We are so grateful to everyone who has made a gift to F.R.I.E.N.D.S. in the past and thank you for considering a donation today. We are grateful for all of the support you show FDSWF and our Down Syndrome community.

Donations to FDSWF go right back into supporting all of our programs. We are a volunteer-based charity with one paid employee, Jamie Santillo our Marketing Director, and though we began as a small Down syndrome support group the scope of our work has grown and we now reach out to all special needs individuals and their families.

Here are a few examples of how your money may be spent:

  • F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Parent Packets are assembled for new and expectant parents and come in a FRIENDS tote bag.  The packets are full of Down Syndrome and Special needs information and include a free copy of the book ” Babies with Down Syndrome, A New Parents Guide”, two Down Syndrome Awareness wristbands, and a Teddy Bear for the baby.  Each bag costs $20.
  • Public affairs advocacy on behalf of our community, funds are used to print up our brochures, mailers, and pamphlets for distribution during Resource & Volunteer Fairs, FDSWF Presentations, and Community Education Presentations. 
  • Funds are used to support our year-round programs - BABY Friends Playgroup, AFTER SCHOOL SPECIALS Playgroup,  FRIENDS Socials & Dances.
  • Newsletters and emails – FDSWF members receive up to date and current Down Syndrome information.
  • Funds are used for our community events:
    • March - Rock you Socks Contest and WDSD Picnic.
    • Spring Fling Picnic & Egg hunt.
    • May - Mad Hatters Mothers Tea Party Celebration.
    • June - Fathers Day Pancake Breakfast.
    • July Buddy Walk Kick Off Picnic
    • Halloween Dance Parties - Brandon and Clearwater
    • October FDSWF Buddy Walk – We advocate, educate, and celebrate Down Syndrome individuals, families, and friends.
    • FDSWF Holiday Party – FDSWF members celebrate the Holiday season together, each child receives a small gift.

In the future, FDSWF would like to use funds to:

  • Open The FRIENDS Center - A Down Syndrome Center that will offer a desperately needed Day Care, After-school & Adult Day Program in Brandon FL.
  • Hire a Grant Writer.
  • Hire a Social Worker/Parent Liaison to direct our members to current services and programs.
  • Host a Down Syndrome Conference.
  • Partner with a local college or hospital to bring a Down Syndrome Clinic to Tampa Bay.