By Mardra Sikora
In some ways, we in the Down syndrome community are our own village.
This last March 21st organizations and individuals reached out to unknown friends and presented them with random acts of kindness. A lovely introduction to our village.
The idea for WDSD RAK was conceived and designed by the “big groups” then disseminated to individuals and local groups to do and facilitate however they wanted. That’s the beauty of what made this really work. Everyone could take a hold and do what felt right for them.For example, the lovely Big Blueberry Eyes Family – they really made a day of it. Others gave quarters with signs at laundromats, or chick-filet, or Starbucks, and on. Josh and Joey had a lot of great input on Random Acts to share.
I L-O-V-E-D this idea from the start, after all, what is Down syndrome but a random act of kindness from the universe itself? Since I spent most of WDSD in the coffee shop participating with the 321eConference, I shared a little love there. And good news, it worked! Grown Ups & Downs received a lovely message via Facebook and the recipient gladly became a WDSD celebrator as well.
Marcus and Quinn took their RAK to the gym, where we partnered with The Bodysmith to provide Free The Marcus protein shakes (yes, he does have a shake named after him, peanut butter and jelly flavored).
These were fun ideas but I was most impressed with families who chose to reach out to the first responders in their community. Double Duty, well actually, triple duty this way. A little “training” in humanity for all, a little kindness and awareness, and a little #JusticeForEthan. Not a bad mix to help change the world.
But, what about within our own village?
Some folks did their RAK to Ronald McDonald Houses and ER rooms, having young children and the memories of need for such places fresh in their minds. Stephanie, the founder of The Road We’ve Shared suggested we give to our own village, to adults in centers or homes, to people with Ds or other I/DD who are more alone than not, who would also love a pick-me-up and kind gesture.
So what about it, Friends? We’ve started to investigate the needs and ways to reach adults in our own village who are in need of a little kindness. Let’s not wait for the next WDSD, What do you think? You in?