Sharing Down Syndrome Arizona

February 2024 Newsletter

Celebrating Heart Month

Gina's Blog

Dec 2023/Jan 2024

From My Heart to Yours, Love, David’s Mom

Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never ever the same.”

Dear Sharing Families,

Pretend that I sent this portion of our newsletter to you on time in December, or at least by January. Okay, so now you know the real me. A little crazy but know it is sent with love. I know it is now February but I hope you have a Happy Valentine's Day.

In my blog, I share some tender things I have learned from families like yours and others God has put in my path, including dear Haley Sheppard. (pictured above)

If you have a moment please read my blog but also when you can, please share with me something you have learned because you have been entrusted with a child who has Down syndrome. xoxo My email is xoxo

With much love,

David's Mom

(aka Gina Johnson)

Read more of Gina's blog! 

Sharing Down Syndrome Christmas Memories

We are still enjoying all the warm, fuzzy feelings of the over 500 attendees who came to our Sharing Christmas party. Many thanks to our Sharing Board of Directors, Sharing Advisory Board, the selfless Volunteers from, and our Sponsors for the tremendous support that made the end-of-year gathering so memorable. A wonderful video was made by Save This Memory, keep scrolling to catch the link!

2023 Christmas Party Photo Gallery
2023 Christmas Party Video

Proud mom Stacy Unga

Hi Mom!

A Million Thanks for No Missing Links Foundation's $50,000 Donation to Sharing

Have you ever seen a miracle? I have. Her name is Kate Unga. She was born weighing just 2 pounds. Because of Kate her family, through their "No Missing Links Foundation", gave us an incredible donation in honor of their sweet daughter.

I met Kate's proud Uncle Jordan when he, and his daughter Andie, came by my office to bring a donation check last year. It touched me deeply because it was the largest single donation I have ever received.

This year, when he stopped by when it was time to go, he commented that this check was not the same as last year. I thought that meant they couldn't give as much. I told him I was grateful for any donation, regardless of the amount as it helps us serve our Sharing families.

When I opened the envelope and saw the check was for $50,000, all I could do was cry. They had no idea how much this helped.

So thank you, dear Stacey, Jonathan Unga, and the Unga family for your incredible support!

With much love,

Gina Johnson (aka David's Mom)

Win a $25 Chili's Gift Card for the Biggest Donation to SDSA During the WM Phoenix Open

Our organization will be a participating charity in the "Birdies for Charity" program at the WM Phoenix Open happening February 5-10, 2024.


  • Birdies For Charity is a fundraising program designed to give local charities to generate contributions for their organization based on the number of birdies made by the PGA TOUR players during the WM Phoenix Open.

  • Donors may also give a flat donation to the charity of their choice.

  • You can pledge one cent or more for every birdie that will be made by the PGA TOUR players, Monday through Sunday of the 2024 WM Phoenix Open. In the past, around 1,500 birdies are made during this event.

To learn more or to pledge by February 11th, 2024:

  • Select the gold "donate" button at the top of the screen
  • Choose "Per Birdie Pledges" Or "One Time Donation"
  • Enter "Sharing Ds AZ" in the Organization/Charity name field

Parent Support Meeting with Speaker Kirk Cree

February 15, 2024, 6:30 - 8:30 pm

Join us to hear Kirk Cree from DDD (Division of Developmental Disabilities) talk about all the services DDD provides.

Who: You or anyone who has questions about DDD services and how to have their child qualify.

What: Parent Support Meeting with guest speaker Kirk Cree.

Where: Mesa Student Services Center, 1025 N. Country Club, Mesa, AZ 85201

When: Thursday, February 15, 2024 Time: 6:30 - 8:30 pm

Why: Because we are our child's voice.

Additional Info: Free respite and light refreshments are provided.


Space is limited, register now!

Register for Parent Support Meeting

2024 Sharing Walk Registration is now OPEN

It's just about time to lace up those sneakers to join us for a beautiful morning to promote positive acceptance and awareness for all individuals with Down syndrome.

This FREE event will feature food trucks, exhibitors, obstacle courses and slide inflatables, carnival-style games with prizes, entertainment including some movie characters, and our very beloved DJ Ron playing the music we love to dance to!


8:30 am Registration opens – Families can enter the stadium and enjoy food trucks, inflatables, entertainment, and visit with exhibitors and entertainers.

9:30 am The official program portion of our event begins – We will honor our country with the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the National Anthem – performed by members of our community with Down syndrome. We will distribute awards to citizens who support people with Down syndrome through employment, medical professionals, education, social work, and volunteerism.

The Sharing Walk begins immediately following the awards ceremony – Led by the Grand Marshal (the top fundraising team), the walk will start near the stage and continue around the stadium, ending with the food trucks in the registration area. This is a half-mile walk. Strollers, wagons, and wheelchairs are all welcome on the walking course.

10:45 am-12 pm Family Fun – Families can enjoy their time together with games, inflatables, and entertainers at the event.

The fundraiser allows the organization to continue to offer FREE support services to all families in Arizona who have (and love) a person with Down syndrome in their lives.

2024 Walk Details & Info.
Register your team today!

Thank you Colton Cowell Foundation for the wonderful experience for our Superhero, Chase Baird when he and his friends were able to visit the Bat Cave. The $1000 gift to Sharing and the $1000 gift to Carol Tingey of the Hip Hop Homies with Extra Chromies is tremendously appreciated! We love you.

P.S. Do we know where the Bat Cave is? Yes. Can we tell you?

Sorry, but no. :-)


World Down Syndrome Day 2024

On Thursday, March 21st, be sure to tag us with a photo of your loved one with Ds on Facebook & and Instagram in honor of WDSD 2024!

Facebook  Instagram

Due to renovations happening at the Gilbert Water Tower, we will not be able to gather at the Water Tower this year. We look forward to you flooding our social media pages with photos and fun facts about your friend or family member who rocks that extra chromosome!

Mark your calendars to register to attend the National Down Syndrome Congress Convention in the Valley of the Sun this coming July!

Read More About the Convention
2024 NDSC Volunteer Opportunities

Please support our sponsors who have given to us so generously over the years. We are thankful for all of you!

Thank You To All Of Our Supporters

Diamond Sponsors

Blacker Orthodontics

The Colten Cowell Foundation

Providence Homes

The Saguaros (formerly The Scottsdale 20/30 Club)


No Missing Links Foundation (Gilbert, AZ)

Ak-Chin Indian Community

Johnson Larsen Family Dentistry

Platinum Sponsors

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation

Kerr Endodontics 

Albertsons, Safeway, and Vons – Southwest Division

National First Response Roofing

Mountain View Funeral Home & Cemetery

The Colton Cowell Foundation

Earnhardt Automotive Employees

Gold Sponsors

Farnsworth Ricks Management & Realty - Sylvia & Leon Ricks

Phelps LeClair Estate Law

All Aboard Services

Silver Sponsors

The Tempe Diablos

Valle Luna Mexican Food & Cantinas 

Save This Memory Photography & Videography

Salt River Project Employees

Upside Pest Control

Bell Bank – Jeremy King

Amazon PHX3

Bronze Sponsors

Foresight Chiropractic Wellness Center

Best Trophies and Awards 


Hope Group 

Brooks Orthodontics

Endeavor HCBS

Sharing the Good Life

Paul Kelly Maxillofacial

Friends of Sharing 

AZ Dept of Economic Security – Department of Developmental Disabilities

Susan Marks & Advocates

Raising Special Kids

Arizona State University Sensorimotor Research Lab

Fiesta Bowl Charities

KinectAbility Athletics

US Borne Books

Tyler's Place

AZ Premier Flag Football

...and the countless in-kind donors, families, individuals, volunteers, and organizations who give us so much strength and support. We are truly grateful.


You can select our organization as your charity of choice when you sign up for Fry's Rewards. Thank you to our loyal participants. Each month Fry's Food Stores sends a report of our earnings!

Sharing Down Syndrome Arizona is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and all contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. EIN: 86-0822557.

Our Arizona State Tax Qualifying Charitable Organization (QCO Code) is 20543.

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