Thank you for your willingness to donate your time and energy to further the National Down Syndrome Society's mission to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. While NDSS is located in New York City, there are lots of ways to get involved with NDSS and benefit the Down syndrome community – no matter where you are!
Contact Your Local Affiliate
NDSS has over 375 affiliate Down syndrome groups across the country. Some affiliates are large operations and some are small neighborhood groups, each performing a variety of services to the Down syndrome community in their region. To find volunteer opportunities near you, contact your area affiliate to see if they want volunteers for their special events and programs.
Join Your Local Buddy Walk®
You can also participate in your local Buddy Walk®, or start your own! The Buddy Walk is a one-mile advocacy walk created by NDSS to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome and to raise funds for local and national initiatives that support people with Down syndrome and their families. Nearly 250 Buddy Walks take place across the country and around the world each year. Since 1995, more than 2 million people have participated in this event to raise awareness about the gifts that people with Down syndrome bring to their communities. Learn about the National Buddy Walk® Program on our website. For Buddy Walk updates throughout the year, become a fan on Facebook and follow on Twitter.
Share Your Story
The My Great Story campaign seeks to ignite a new way of thinking about people with Down syndrome by sharing inspirational stories told by people with Down syndrome as well as their family members, friends, colleagues, employers and many others. These stories are displayed in a unique online storybook. Anyone can participate by reading and sharing a story, or by voting and commenting on those already in the collection. The online storybook contains several different sections including school, work, hobbies, travel, friends, family and others. Each month, the top voted story wins the My Great Story of the Month Contest and the top two voted stories are featured in our monthly e-newsletter. Visit My Great Story to view the collection and share your story!
Advocate for people with Down syndrome and their families is by joining forces with the NDSS National Policy Center. Sign up to receive NDSS Advocacy Alerts, which will let you know what you can do and when. A quick phone call or a form email is usually all it takes, and responding to NDSS Advocacy Alerts is the fastest and most effective way to support important Down syndrome legislative activities.
If you’re looking to become even more active in legislative activities, get involved with our advocacy programs: Buddy Walk® on Washington, the NDSS DS-Ambassador Program and NDSS Government Affairs Committees.
Launch an NDSS Your Way Campaign
NDSS Your Way is a new online fundraising program that is geared towards independent fundraisers interested in raising money on behalf of the National Down Syndrome Society. Participants in this program create personalized fundraising web pages in support of an event or individual pursuit. Each individual event is hosted independently and oversight is provided by the NDSS office. All proceeds raised via the NDSS Your Way program will go directly to National Down Syndrome Society. Fundraisers are invited to create a customizable web page in one of three categories—Compete, Celebrate and Create—and no matter which category you choose, your personal page can pay tribute to someone who inspires and motivates you.
Run a race, host a block party, plan a dance marathon, grow a moustache, or climb a mountain – however you choose to do it, do it for NDSS and do it Your Way!
Start or Join a Young Leadership Committee
NDSS has several Young Leadership Committees (YLC) around the country and is looking to establish more. We are seeking volunteer groups of young professionals, students, or friends who are tied together by their support for NDSS and people with Down syndrome. YLC members work to improve the public’s awareness and perception of individuals with Down syndrome, focusing specifically on a younger demographic. The committee is dedicated to reaching future members of NDSS through fundraising and events by leveraging various networks to increase participation in the greater organization. Members will act as ambassadors in their communities to address stereotypes and educate the public. Consider joining or starting a group in your area that can help us reach the younger demographic and bring fresh ideas to NDSS. Contact NDSS VP of Development Pam Sandonato to get involved.
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Follow NDSS on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for the latest news and updates.
Your tax-deductible charitable donation to NDSS will help fund our mission to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.
- The Arc
The largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families
- Best Buddies
A volunteer program that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
- Special Olympics
Year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities
- Very Special Arts
Provides arts and education opportunities for people with disabilities and increases access to the arts for all