How Donations Are used

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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 F.R.I.E.N.D.S.and our special needs community.

Donations to F.R.I.E.N.D.S. go right back into supporting all of our programs. We are a volunteer-based charity with NO paid employees 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 F.R.I.E.N.D.S. 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 Onsie and Teddy Bear for the baby.  Each bag costs approximately $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, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Presentations, and Community Education Presentations. 
  • Funds are used to support our year-round programs - BABY Friends Playgroup, AFTER SCHOOL SPECIALS Playgroup,  F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Socials & Dances.
  • Newsletters and emails – F.R.I.E.N.D.S. members receive up to date and current Down Syndrome information.
  • Funds are used for our Community & Family events:
    • March - Rock you Socks & 5th Annual F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Buddy Walk
    • April - Spring Fling Picnic & Egg hunt.
    • May - Mad Hatters Mothers Tea Party Celebration.
    • June - Fathers Day Pancake Breakfast Celebration..
    • July- Buddy Walk Kick Off Pool Party
    • October  - Halloween Parties in Brandon and Seminole.
    • December - F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Holiday Party 

In the future, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. would like to use funds to:

  • Open The FRIENDS Center - A Down Syndrome/Special Needs Center that will offer a desperately needed Day Care, After-school & Adult Day Program.
  • 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.