Sharing Down Syndrome AZ began in July of 1991 when Gina Johnson (proud mom of 7 great kids including David who has Down syndrome) hosted a parent meeting in her home. It was a wonderful evening where parents shared the joys and challenges that come when raising a child with Down syndrome. At the conclusion of that meeting, Gina asked the families if they would like to meet every month with guest speakers. The answer was a resounding YES! Today Sharing has grown from that small gathering to now over 3,000 families who are part of this wonderful organization.
Sharing provides many positive support programs for families lucky enough to have a child with Down syndrome. They provide all birthing hospitals in the state of Arizona a beautiful New Parent Welcome Folder. As soon as the social workers call, Gina personally visits every family to tell them, “Congratulations!” on the birth of their new baby. We recognize that there is a natural grieving process parents go through when they are given the news of their baby having this disability. But Gina is there to let them know that LIFE IS GOOD as they begin this wonderful journey. At that visit Gina brings a beautiful New Parent Gift Bag ($200 value) filled with books, CD’s, DVD’s and even our very boastful bumper sticker, “My Kid Has More Chromosomes Than Your Kid!” Gina and all who are a part of Sharing know the blessing that having a child with Down syndrome brings. She wants to share that joy with the whole world.
Sharing ‘s other programs include: New Parent Dessert Night, Play groups, Chapters throughout Arizona, Monthly Parent Support Meetings to empower and educate parents, and lots of fun social events including an Easter Egg Hunt, Breakfast with Santa, and our annual Sharing Down Syndrome WALK where all are invited to help us promote positive acceptance and inclusion for all people who have Down syndrome.
Down syndrome is the most common genetic birth defect occurring 1 in approximately every 691 births. Babies with Down syndrome can have medical complications including nearly 50 percent needing open heart surgery, intestinal blockages, developmental delays, hearing and vision impairments and being mild to moderately mentally disabled.
But when children with Down syndrome are given proper medical treatment and educational opportunities, they can grow up to become happy successful members of society who make our world a better place to live.
Sharing Down Syndrome Arizona was founded to provide the needed positive parent support so families could go through the natural grieving process that would occur knowing they were not alone.
Sharing is recognized as the premier parent support organization. They have been awarded the BEST PARENT SUPPORT ORGANIZATION for the past five years. In 2009 Sharing was the November recipient for the channel 12 Who Care Award. Gina has been the recipient of many awards for her volunteer services including: Points of Light, SERTOMA CLUB (Service to Mankind Award) National Award, and she has been recognized for her Angel Baby Adoption Program She has helped find loving homes for children as far away as Russia. Sharing provides all its programs FREE TO FAMILIES. Sharing runs totally on donations from families and businesses who believe in the good work we do.
ALL SHARING PARENT SUPPORT MEETINGS AND
EDUCATIONAL WORKSHOPS FREE TO FAMILIES