Connexions Blog

"Building stronger communities by sharing inspiration, advice, and best practices that work".



Ds-connex Presents: The Sixth Annual Super Sibs Contest

By Jen Franklin Kearns, ds-connex team member

This October, in observance of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, we are excited to once again recognize the Super Sibs of our loved ones with Down syndrome! Siblings tend to be very aware of the impact of having a brother or sister with extra needs, and we often hear amazing stories about how they love, encourage, and embrace both the highs and lows of their relationships with their siblings with Down syndrome. We want to take the opportunity to highlight these examples because we believe that children are the key to the future of an inclusive world. Furthermore, we know that these Super Sibs are key players in leading this movement.

Please join us in applauding the amazing sibling relationships within the Down syndrome community. We have met so many wonderful siblings in the last few years, and we can’t wait to read and share about your Super Sibs!

Contest Details:

Contest entries should be submitted via email to contests@ds-connex.org, beginning September 24, 2021. All submissions will require a photo with a brief story (3-4 sentences) of how the sibling is supportive of their family member with Down syndrome.

We will accept submissions through October 25th. Randomly selected entries will be used as content for the ds-connex Facebook page beginning 10/1. All submissions will be included in an album to be hosted on the ds-connex Facebook page, which will be posted at the end of October. By entering the contest, you are granting ds-connex permission to edit your submission for grammar and/or length, and use the submitted photo and story in ds-connex social media posts and website. We will only use the first name of siblings in our promotions.  

We will randomly select two winners each Tuesday in October (10/5, 10/12, 10/19, and 10/26), for a total of eight winners, who will each be awarded $25 gift cards. Winners will be announced on the ds-connex Facebook page on each Tuesday afternoon in October. Winners can select to receive an e-gift card from either Target or Amazon.


Ds-connex Presents: The 2021 #DownSyndromeDads Contest!

By Jen Franklin Kearns, ds-connex team member

In honor of Father’s Day and great dads of kids with disabilities everywhere, ds-connex is excited to announce the 8th Annual #DownSyndromeDads Contest to recognize and celebrate these amazing fathers! 

Contest Overview

Nominate the fantastic #DownSyndromeDads in your life by sending a photo and brief (one to three sentences), meaningful message about them to ds-connex. Please send your submissions to contests@ds-connex.org.

All photos and descriptions will be posted to a 2021 #DownSyndromeDads photo album on the ds-connex Facebook page. All nominators and #DownSyndromeDads are encouraged to promote the contest and ask friends and family members on Facebook to vote for them by liking their photo in the 2021 #DownSyndromeDads album. 

The 1st prize winner will receive a $250 donation to their Down syndrome fundraising team along with a $100 Home Depot gift card. The second prize winner will be awarded a $100 team donation along with a $50 Home Depot gift card. 

Details for This Year’s Contest

The ds-connex team will collect #DownSyndromeDads nominations until midnight EDT on June 13th. The Facebook album will be posted on or after June 15th, at which time voting will begin. We will notify nominators via email when the album is posted and voting begins, and we will conclude voting on Monday, June 21st at 9:30am EDT, when the winners of the contest will be determined. The winners will be chosen based on the total of likes (or reactions, to include “love,” etc) on the photos in the #DownSyndromeDads photo album on the ds-connex Facebook page during the voting period. The #DownSyndromeDads contest participants must observe Facebook’s policies. Please note that in order for your entry to be included in the voting, we must receive your entry by midnight on June 13th. We will happily include entries submitted after 6/13 in the Facebook album, but they will not be eligible for the prizes. Results of the contest will be announced on our Facebook page on Monday, June 21st.

The monetary donations must go to a team for a Down syndrome fundraising walk event. If your team is not registered at the time of the drawing, it is the winner’s responsibility to notify ds-connex when their team is registered in order to receive the donation. 

This year, we are happy to provide the winners with either a physical gift card or an e-gift card.

Please note…

We welcome participants in last year’s contest to re-enter with a new photo! 

By nominating someone for the #DownSyndromeDads contest, you are giving ds-connex permission to edit your submission for grammar and/or length, and to share your submission via the Connexions blog and across multiple social platforms, in order to raise awareness and appreciation of fathers in the Down syndrome community and all they do. The #DownSyndromeDads contest is sponsored by ds-connex. 

We look forward to seeing your #DownSyndromeDads entries!


This Mother's Day, we are recognizing the Superhero in all moms with a chance to win one of five $50 gift cards!

By Jen Franklin Kearns, ds-connex team member

This year, in celebration of Mother’s Day, ds-connex wants to recognize our favorite superheroes: moms!

The past year has certainly been a challenge. One thing is for certain, though: moms showed up. Moms have answered the challenge of stepping up their support for their families, schools, employers, and communities. Moms showed up to support our kids for online school, for hybrid school, and for in-person school. We showed up when our kids were sad that they couldn’t spend time with family and friends, and when they were overjoyed at the reunions with those same people when it was safe to gather again. Moms created magical birthdays and holidays, even though we didn’t know how we would ever accomplish that. We made sure masks and hand sanitizer were ready to go as soon as we got the green light that our kids could return to their favorite extracurricular activities, and then we were the loudest cheerleaders.

Moms kept things running, as smoothly as we could manage, even though our days were exhausting and filled with worry. We showed up because that’s just what moms and superheroes do.

MOM super hero image

To celebrate Mother’s Day 2021, we want to share stories about the amazing moms in the Down syndrome community!

Beginning Friday, April 23rd, we hope you’ll share your story or the story of another wonderful mom you know, along with a photo. Anyone can nominate a mom, and for this contest, moms can even nominate themselves! A photo must be included with your nomination; it can be a pic of the mom, the kids, or their entire family. We will collect submissions through May 6th; please email your photos and stories to contests@ds-connex.org. We will share your stories and photos on the ds-connex social media channels so we can all cheer each other on. We did some pretty great things over the last year, and it’s time to celebrate that! We will randomly draw five entries to receive a $50 e-gift card to Walmart, Target, or Amazon!

Contest details:

Contest entries should be submitted via email to contests@ds-connex.org, beginning 4/23/21. All submissions will require a photo or with a brief story (3-4 sentences, including the mother’s name and email address) detailing how amazing the mom is. Five winners of a $50 e-gift card will be randomly drawn on 5/7/21 and winners will be notified via email. By submitting an entry, you are granting ds-connex to share your photo and story across our social media channels. Please note that ds-connex may edit your entry for grammar or length.


World Down Syndrome Day 2021: Tell Us Why You Celebrate for a Chance to Win!

By Jen Franklin Kearns, ds-connex team member

World Down Syndrome Day 2021 is quickly approaching, and our celebrations will certainly be a little different from those of past years. While we may not be able to gather together, we certainly have many reasons to observe this important day of awareness and advocacy!

This year, ds-connex wants to know why your family recognizes World Down Syndrome Day! Who are you celebrating? Why is this day special? How will you spread the word this year, while following the health guidelines in your community? Send us your stories, along with a photo, so everyone can join in your celebration - virtually, of course! Your stories just might inspire another family to participate and acknowledge the significance of 3/21. This is how we build and strengthen our community!

We will feature your entries across our social media channels, beginning 3/1. You will also be eligible to win your choice of a $75 e-gift card (choose one: DoorDash, Dominos, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, Walmart, or Amazon) so that you can host a party for your family on World Down Syndrome Day! Prize winners will be randomly drawn on March 10th, and winners will be notified by email and announced on our social media.

Don’t delay - send us your entries today, and let’s get this celebration started!

Celebrate World Down Syndrome Day Giveaway

Contest details:

Starting today, send your entries to contests@ds-connex.org. Entries must include information about why your family observes World Down Syndrome Day (who you celebrate, why the day is special, how you plan to spread the word), along with a photo. We must receive your entries by Monday, March 1st to be eligible for prizes. Three prizes will be awarded, and winners will be randomly selected on March 10th, 2021. If you are one of the three randomly selected winners, your gift card will be emailed to the address you used to enter the contest. By submitting content for the World Down Syndrome Day campaign, you are granting ds-connex permission to edit your submission for grammar and/or length, and use the submitted photo and story in ds-connex social media posts and website. This contest is sponsored by ds-connex.