Dear New Directions Families & Supporters,

We’ve missed seeing everyone at the BuddyWalk, Family Picnic, parades, and parties that could not happen this past year. With 2020 behind us, we’re filled with hope that this year will give us a chance to partake in the activities we’ve perhaps taken for granted.

Before we give you some other updates, let’s get right to the purpose of this letter. Without a Holiday Party, we wanted to find another way to support you this year. We’ve partnered with Alert Me Bands to offer each family a free “in case of emergency” band for your individual with Down Syndrome.

Read more about Alert Me Bands on their website.

To get your band, please see the coupon request form below. The board of directors will receive your request and respond with an instructional email on how to place your order.

Getting back to updates, while events have been on hold, we’ve been able to make progress in a few areas this past year.

  • We fulfilled almost 60 Buddy Walk mask orders for over 170 masks across the midwest and even further states. Thank you to the volunteers who helped fulfill orders and made masks for us from leftover shirts!
  • We now have a system to manage our database of members and their families to keep our information organized.
  • We resumed our efforts to send Birthday cards to individuals with Down Syndrome and have sent over 100 cards just this fall/winter.
  • Members of the board now have email addresses to smooth transitions of positions and responsibilities on the board, and make it easier for our partners in the volunteer, service, and medical communities to contact us.
  • We’ve added the ability to submit a request for financial support through our website – making it easier for families to start that process.
  • We’ve also improved our donation submission process online and we hope to soon have the process in place to send tax documentation for donations at the end of the year.

Along the way, we’ve added new members, given gifts and well wishes to families dealing with medical issues, supplied local hospitals with packets for expecting parents and new parents, and had the opportunity to counsel families working through their diagnosis stories.

We’re looking forward to a great 2021. If there’s one ask we have of each of you, it would be to consider volunteering your time to serve on our Board of Directors. We have a number of open, and soon to be open positions that need your gifts of time and talent. Visit our website to apply or contact us at [email protected]

Here’s to a year we’ll never forget, but that we’re all happy to put behind us. 🙂

– The New Directions Board of Directors
January 2021