Do I need to know someone with Down syndrome to participate in a Buddy Walk®?
Not at all. The goal of the Buddy Walk® is to promote understanding and acceptance of people with Down syndrome. Whether you have Down syndrome, know someone who does or just want to show your support, come and join a Buddy Walk®!
How can I find out if there is a Buddy Walk® in my community?
There are a number of ways to find a Walk near you in the Walkers section. If you do not see a Walk in your area, you can email the Buddy Walk® staff at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out if a local support group has registered a Walk that is not yet posted.
There isn't a Walk in my area. How do I go about starting a Walk?
NDSS has all the tools to help you plan a successful event, from a planning timeline to posters and incentive ideas. Buddy Walks range in size from 50 people to more than 5,000 - so whatever your time and resources, you can plan a successful Walk for your community! You can begin by reading the What's Involved and Organizer FAQ for a better idea of what it takes to plan a Buddy Walk®. When you're ready to make it official, visit the Organizer section to begin the registration process. Once approved, you'll have access to the Buddy Walk Manual and other helpful resources that will help you plan the best Walk possible.
Not everyone in my family is able to walk a mile. Are they still able to participate?
Yes. Buddy Walk® events are open to participants of all ages and abilities. Each Walk location has places where you can sit down, relax, and watch the excitement if you choose not to walk. You can also become a member of the cheering section and cheer on the walkers.
Is there an age requirement for the Buddy Walk®?
All participants are welcome! From strollers to seniors, all supporters of individuals with Down syndrome are invited to participate. Buddy Walk® events are great places to network with families and learn more about support services available.
Do I have to raise money to participate in the Buddy Walk®?
Fundraising requirements for the Buddy Walk® vary from event to event. Please check with your local Buddy Walk® organizers to determine whether or not there is a fundraising minimum.
What do the funds raised at the Buddy Walk® support?
Each Buddy Walk is required to give 7% of funds raised to NDSS, which directly supports the NDSS National Policy Center. Allocation of funds will vary from Walk to Walk, but the money raised at every Walk supports both local and national initiatives that benefit people with Down syndrome.
I'd like to volunteer at the Buddy Walk® in my area. How do I get involved?
For information about volunteering at a Buddy Walk® in your community, find the Walk closest to you. Once you know the Walk at which you're interested in volunteering, click the details button for contact information to reach out to your local Walk organizer and get involved!
Who designs the National Buddy Walk® T-Shirts?
NDSS and the National Buddy Walk® Committee regularly hold a nationwide contest for a new t-shirt design for the upcoming Buddy Walk season. The selected design is featured on the t-shirt at the National Buddy Walk in New York City and is made available to all Buddy Walks®. The winner of the 2011 Buddy Walk T-shirt Design Contest is Richie Hollins. The current t-shirt design contest is now open! Designers submitting their artwork can be individuals with Down syndrome, parents, siblings or friends. This artist will receive recognition on the NDSS website for the entire year. The t-shirt design contest is open from November 1, 2012 - January 18, 2013.
Can I bring my dog to the Buddy Walk®?
While most walk venues will allow dogs, not all do. Please speak with the organizer in advance of your local Walk to find out if you can bring your pet with you.