Connexions Blog

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



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.


Buddy, the ds-connex elf, is back to spread holiday cheer!

By Jen Franklin Kearns, ds-connex team member

It’s December, and the ds-connex elf, Buddy, is back again to spread more holiday cheer!

Starting December 2nd, visit the ds-connex Facebook page or Instagram to see Buddy’s Question of the Day. Kids are invited to send in their answers (with their parents’ help, of course!) to contests@ds-connex.org to be entered to win a $25 Amazon e-gift card from ds-connex!

We hope you’ll join Buddy in getting in the holiday spirit with his fun contest this month!

Buddy the elf contest announcement graphic

Contest details:

Buddy will ask a daily question on the ds-connex Facebook and Instagram on weekdays beginning December 2nd, with the final question on December 18th. Answers must be emailed to contests@ds-connex.org and should include the following information: child’s name, age, and the name of the Down syndrome organization with which your family is affiliated. Kids ages 18 and younger will receive one entry per question answered for our random prize drawings. The earlier you participate, the more entries you will receive! The prize drawings will take place on December 3rd, 7th, 10th, 14th, 17th, and 21st; winners will be announced on our social media and notified via email. By entering the contest, you are granting ds-connex permission to edit your submission for grammar and/or length, and post your child’s first name on our social media should they be the winner of a random prize drawing. This contest is sponsored by ds-connex.


Ds-connex Makes Strides to Assist Partners for Giving Tuesday

By Jen Franklin Kearns, ds-connex team member

GivingTuesday is a global day of generosity that will take place on December 1, 2020. This year, ds-connex is pleased to offer Giving Tuesday donation sites to assist our partners in raising much needed funds in this unprecedented year. Using our Stride fundraising platform, we are proud to enable our partners to continue their fundraising efforts.

Here are just two examples of our Giving Tuesday sites:

The Down Syndrome Association of the Valley has incorporated some really cute photos on their site, while the Down Syndrome Association of Central California is using that space on their site to highlight what donations will fund. Stride allows the flexibility for our partners to determine exactly how they want to present their Giving Tuesday campaigns.

In coordination with Stride, our partners can take advantage of the wealth of resources available on the Giving Tuesday website. The key to a successful fundraising campaign is planning early, and the Giving Tuesday website provides many helpful tips and templates to help prepare for this year’s campaign on 12/1!

In addition to these resources, the Giving Tuesday site provides a collection of graphics that you can implement into your digital promotions, like this Save the Date message

social media graphic from the Giving Tuesday website. Graphic to be used in assist in fundraising

As always, social media will play an important role in your fundraising campaign. Keep in mind that you should post more often, and not less, when working toward a fundraising goal. From the Giving Tuesday toolkit: “Your community WANTS to hear from you! Go back and look at your top-performing content to draw inspiration. Post content that shows your work in action, how your community is affected by COVID-19, and share stories that give people hope or make people laugh.” It’s important to include a call to action on these posts, so don’t forget to include the link at which your supporters can donate!

Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity to share uplifting stories happening within your community! At a time when uncertainty reigns, your followers are seeking good news in their newsfeed. Stop their doom scrolling with beautiful stories and updates from your organization, and be sure to let them know how their donations will allow these stories to continue and grow.

To learn more about how ds-connex is supporting our partners in their Giving Tuesday initiatives, or to request information about Stride, feel free to reach out at info@ds-connex.org.