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Hup, Two, 3-21!

Thank you, thank you friends for getting the 3-21 Pledge off and rolling, helping Ruby’s Rainbow send more kids with Down syndrome to college this year. If you didn’t read yesterday’s post, please go back and read it for the story on why this matters and what Ruby’s Rainbow is doing. Since I’m a visual girl (give me pictures! videos! music that makes me feel!), I’ve got more for you today. Our friend Kyle who works with the Kennedy Center at Vanderbilt University followed us along on our trip last week and donated his time to tell this story with his wonderful photography talents.

And a big thank you to Caroline C., Karen A., Emily–Liam’s Mom and the Block Family–they all donated, shared and got three other people to donate. A full circle pledge! Once you donate $21, you get this colorful little tracking circle that pops up and keeps track of all the pledges that came from your shares.

Again, here’s how the 3-21 Pledge works. World Down Syndrome Awareness Day is March 21–so we have two weeks here.

1. Click here to make a $21 pledge.
2. Pledge to be kind and considerate to people of all abilities (I know you got this one!).
3. Share your pledge with 3 people (or more!) and ask them to do the same.

And Tim, Ruby’s daddy from Ruby’s Rainbow, is the first donor to hit the BLUE LEVEL. That’s like karate black belt! Six degrees of Kevin Bacon but better. That means that someone who Tim shared the pledge with (red) donated and then got someone else to donate (orange)–and THAT person got someone to donate (yellow)–and, that person got someone to donate (green), and wait one more– THAT person got someone to donate (blue)! Isn’t technology grand?!

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And thank you, not only from someone who loves Ruby’s Rainbow and all the students it helps…but from a mama with big dreams for her girl. Nella sends giant virtual hugs to all of you. It takes a village. xo


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  1. All. The. Feels. #321Pledge 321pledge.org

  2. I’m crying here!!!! Congratulations !!!!! It’s like you said, I can see Bella’s face in them!!! Amazing work!!! I wish we could have something like that here in Brazil!!!
    I’ll see if I can make a pledge from here!!!!

    • Hi Rosa,

      I’m Ruby’s dad. Thanks for following along with Liz and Kelle. They are two amazing people… that’s for sure. If you’re unable to make a donation through PayPal from Brazil, but still want to participate, you can email liz@rubysrainbow.org and we’ll help you get involved. Again, thank you so much!!

  3. Katherine says:

    So beautiful Kelle, I got all teary with Matt’s mom….what a wonderful lady. I’m wondering maybe – if you feel that it’s something you would want to do (and i totally get it if not) – could you maybe explain a little about the speech difficulties that people with Down syndrome sometimes have? It just occurred to me watching this that I know I would make assumptions about a person’s abilities /intellect based on how they sound and converse, and I see quite clearly that those assumptions are totally misplaced, and clearly a person taking an astronomy class is much more capable than you might think on first meeting them. xxxxK

    • Great question, Katherine. Speech abilities range quite a bit in individuals with Down syndrome and depend on a lot of different factors. I’ve talked to individuals with Down syndrome who speak fluently and without recognizable differences and some with noticeable difficulties but clearly great receptive speech. There can be differences in oral structure (tongue, palette, etc.) in individuals with DS as well as ear/nose/throat issues that may affect speech. Also–lower muscle tone accounts for many speech hurdles. Thank you for the interest though! You are spot on in how those observations can easily lead to assumptions. I’m so glad you asked.

  4. This brought me to tears!!! Such beautiful kids!! I made a donation and have shared the link. I did so in honor of my sister. She didn’t have Down syndrome but was severely mentally retarded. When she was born (in the 60’s), children like her and ones w/ Down syndrome were too often sent to institutions, to be locked away from society. I’m sure back then, most people would never have thought these kids could actually go to college. Thank God times have changed!! Keep up the amazing work you’re doing, bringing this wonderful organization to light and giving us a glimpse of these awesome kids!!

  5. khaybek’s blog

  6. Thank you for sharing this!!

  7. Kelle, this is so beautiful. I got choked up watching the video — so many feelings!!! I see others have commented similarly, but I’m always reminded of my brother Luke when I see these posts. I was photographing a birthday party a couple weekends ago and there was a little girl there with Down syndrome, and I just could not stop watching her because she took me back 15-20 years to when my brother was her age.

    I’m so glad for all the work you do with Ruby’s Rainbow, and I’m so thankful that your blog introduced me to this cause. My husband and I will be lifelong supporters! :)

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