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 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 no paid employees and though we began as a Down syndrome support group the scope of our work has grown. 

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

  • Scholarships funds for FDSWF members.  Members can apply for FDSWF Scholarship funds to pay for medical, education, and recreational activities. Members can apply to receive funds to attend the Family Cafe conference or Down Syndrome Conference held in Orlando.
  • 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. 
  • Public affairs advocacy on behalf of our community, funds are used to print up our brochures, mailers, and pamphlets for special needs resource fairs, FDSWF Presentations, and Community Education. 
  • Funds are used to support our year-round programs - BABY Friends Playgroup, Dream Tweens Peergroup, FRIENDS Self Advocates Club, and DADS Club.
  • Newsletters and emails – FDSWF members receive up to date and current Down Syndrome information.
  • Funds are used for our community events:
    • March - World Down Syndrome Day-Born to Ride Event and Rock Your Socks Contest.
    • May - Mad Hatters Mothers Tea Party.
    • June - Fathers Day Pancake Breakfast.
    • July - Brandon 4th of July Parade – FDSWF advocates and promotes FDSWF and Down Syndrome Awareness.
    • July Down Syndrome Awareness Pool Party
    • Halloween Dance Party - Brandon and Pinellas
    • October FDSWF Fun Run & Buddy Walk – We advocate, educate, and celebrate Down Syndrome individuals, families, and friends.
    • Christmas Parade – FDSWF advocates and promotes FDSWF and Down Syndrome Awareness.
    • 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.
  • Offer a four-day summer camp at the Rotary’s Camp Florida. Your funds will help to hire a Camp Director, Lifeguards, Food, camping supplies, etc…
  • 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.