And now for something completely different. This post began as a focus on social media and a campaign to get Google to recognise World Down’s Syndrome Day in their Google Doodle for 21 March. It has become so much more of course – Down’s Syndrome is something very close to my heart and the hearts of my friends and family. Read on to find out how you can get involved this year.
21 March is World Down's Syndrome Awareness Day, so chosen because Down's Syndrome is caused by a third copy of the 21st chromosome. Each year, individuals around the world use the day to raise awareness of Down’s Syndrome and to raise money to support those with Down’s Syndrome.
If you have been lucky enough to have a child with Down’s Syndrome in your life, then you will know that they are the most lovely children with a wicked sense of humour. In this day and age, it is incredible to see how advances in education and support can enable these children to shine like the stars they are.
Here are some ways that you can get involved on World Down’s Syndrome Day on 21 March.
Odd Sock Day
The photo so often used to explain the phenomenon of the third copy of the 21st chromosome looks like a set of odd socks and so each year, people take to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to post photos of themselves in odd socks to show support and solidarity to friends and families with Down’s Syndrome.
I’ve always considered myself something of an odd sock and definitely like this idea.
Twitter Banners and Facebook photos
One of the most important things for people with Down’s Syndrome is to feel accepted and part of a global community. While you can’t change the world with a Facebook photo or Twitter header, you can show love, support and acceptance.
Many people will know of the campaign by graphic designer Mark Jones to get Google to adopt a World Down’s Syndrome Day Google Doodle on 21 March. The good news is that he finally caught the attention of the people at Google but unfortunately, they said that they could not accept his proposal as it would then open up the floodgates for hundreds of other similar proposals.
I don’t know – surely Google could have a year of charity-promoting Google Doodles to make up for their tax avoidance?
The good news is that mark has designed a Facebook photo and Twitter header that you can adopt this World Down’s Syndrome Day.. If you click on the photos at the top of this post or above, they will give you the full size image which you can then add to Facebook or Twitter. Be sure to add mark on Twitter @JonerTown and use the hashtag #WDSD16 when tweeting.
Jump Out A Plane
… or sponsor somebody who is. My amazing friend Bonny is jumping out of a plane tomorrow to try and raise money for Down’s Syndrome Association in the UK. She has already smashed her original target but you can help her smash it more by visiting her VirginMoneyGiving fundraising page.
World Down’s Syndrome Day website
You can also visit the official World Down's Syndrome Day webpage to learn more and find out how else you can get involved.