Volume 1 Issue 5 | May 2020
2020 Covid-19 Crisis Appeal
Matching donor to help reach $30,000 goal
The NCDSA has existed for almost 22 years supporting new families, providing education and social programs enhancing the growth and development of individuals with Down syndrome, as well as educating and equipping healthcare professionals to better serve families impacted by Down syndrome. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has detrimentally impacted the support that NCDSA provides to the Down syndrome community, and yet, the needs are ever present. Please consider donating to NCDSA during this critical time in our mission to support families and individuals with Down syndrome. We have a generous anonymous benefactor who will match all donations received by June 30th. We are finding creative and innovative ways to support our families, but we cannot do it without your continued financial support. Please join us as we endeavor to provide the support that children and families deserve during this historical time in our organization and our nation.
Where do we go from here?
The situation with COVID-19 continues to change and uncertainty remains about what the summer and upcoming school year will look like. NCDSA is monitoring the situation and will relay pertinent information that directly impacts the Down syndrome community. Beginning June 1st, NCDSA will have limited office hours by appointment only and staff will continue to work remotely. NCDSA can be contacted by leaving a voicemail message at 984-200-1193 or sending an email to info@ncdsalliance.org. For current information, please follow NCDSA on Facebook.

If you have a school aged child who attends public school and receives special education services, please keep track of the instruction and services the school system is providing while school is closed. Special Education services are still required by law. If you are willing to share your child's education experience, both positive and negative, with a local news source, please email Christina Reaves at christina@ncdsalliance.org.

Resources for people with Down syndrome and their families: NCDSA COVID-19.

Current and accurate information about COVID-19: CDC and NC DHHS.
What has NCDSA been up to?
April was still a busy month for NCDSA:

  • 8 Welcome Baby Bags sent to new families in 4 counties
  • 40 Moms from 12 counties participated in 6 virtual Moms' Night In
  • 4 Dads participated in a virtual Dads' Night In
  • 20 Teens and adults played BINGO on Zoom
  • 102 Families ordered 392 items from our Pop Up Grocery Sale
  • 23 People won a t21 Awareness T-shirt by holding a Facebook fundraiser for NCDSA - Thank You!
Thank you for updating your info!
450 signs have been delivered in 47 counties
Where's my sign?
If you have not received a "We Love Our Families" sign, we have not received your updated NCDSA information. NCDSA staff is working to update our constituent database. There is a great deal of outdated information cluttering our records. Please take a few minutes to assist us in this necessary task by updating your information. Thank you!
Moms' Night In and Out

Por favor regístrese con anticipación. Recibirá un correo electrónico para unirse a Zoom.

BINGO for Everyone
Protecting Your Mental Health During a Pandemic:
Tips for Parents of Medically Fragile Children
Free Webinar - Friday, May 22, 2020 at 1:00 pm
All families face challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic> However, families of medically fragile children experience additional complexities and stressors. Join the chat and listen in on a conversation between friends exploring:
  • Challenges faced by these families during the pandemic
  • Coping strategies for anxiety/depression related to these challenges
  • Unique opportunities to consider during this time
  • Signs families might need more help and where to find it

Brought to you by UNC Chapel Hill, School of Social Work, Jordan Institute for Families
Follow this link to join the webinar: https://zoom.us/j/98148115669
Or iPhone one-tap: US: +16468769923,,98148115669# or +13017158592,,98148115669#
Volunteer Spotlight
Gabbie Ellison attended the 2019 Buddy Walk Kick Off because she was interested in volunteering with the NCDSA. Gabbie jumped in with both feet and has been volunteering on a regular basis ever since. Whether she is serving up snow cones or calling Bingo numbers, she is always happy and eager to help. A North Carolina native, Gabbie lives in Raleigh with her husband and works as a dental assistant. When she is not working, volunteering, or visiting her parents back home in Henderson, she is studying to become a dental hygienist. Thank you Gabbie!!!
NCDSA received a donation of the sweetest kind!
The F.A.R. (First Attentive Responders) middle school club from Providence Day School in Charlotte orchestrated a bake sale to raise funds for Down syndrome awareness and donated the proceeds to NCDSA. The group is led by friends Grace White and Christina Pappas, who wanted to create an awareness of the genetic condition affecting 1 in 691 births in the USA. Madison Kaminski is also a club member and assisted in the bake sale. Grace’s cousin (Kasey Treadway, Raleigh) was born with Down syndrome in 2009 and Grace and her family have rallied around fundraisers for the Down syndrome community and awareness campaigns since her birth.  
NCDSA sends heartfelt appreciation to Grace, Madison, and Christina for the donation and awareness in the community of Down syndrome. How sweet it is! If you are interested in hosting a fundraiser to benefit NCDSA, please email info@ncdsallinace.org .
Quick Links for Families
Let's Celebrate!!!
NCDSA would like to celebrate your end of school year milestones. Did you graduate, dress up for prom, win an award, finish program? We want to hear about it and share your good news with our community.

Email details and pictures to: info@ncdsalliance.org
2020 Graduates

Olivia Murray
High School

James Hoscila
Roanoke Rapids
High School
Welcome New Board Members
Stacy Strickland was introduced to the world of Down syndrome in 2018 upon the arrival of his fifth child, Haven Faith. He is excited to be part of the NCDSA bringing information and support to new families. From his experience, he hopes to answer questions and concerns from parents that may be overwhelmed with a new diagnosis. Stacy wants to build programs for individuals with Down syndrome through events, fundraisers, seminars, etc. His strongest attributes are helping to build and create projects, supporting them as they grow, and his willingness to meet with individuals and companies that can help make an impact for our community.

Stacy was born and raised in Dunn, NC and played baseball, soccer, and basketball growing up. After graduating from Triton High School he attended Wake Technical Community College studying engineering. Stacy has a career in the infrastructure construction field as a Sales Representative providing supplies and materials to contractors who build water, sewer, and storm systems. Stacy has served on the deacon board in his church and has been a baseball and basketball coach for his local community in Johnston County.
Alice Tolin is a native of Elkin, North Carolina. After graduating from Furman University and Wake Forest University School of Law and she began practicing law in Sampson County, North Carolina. While there, she served as the Guardian ad Litem Attorney Advocate in both Sampson and Duplin Counties. In 2008, she partnered with her husband to start a general practice firm, Tolin & Tolin, PLLC, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where she focused primarily on family law and continued to serve as the Guardian ad Litem Attorney Advocate for Wilkes County until 2010.

Alice’s oldest son has Down syndrome. His entrance into the school setting sparked her interest in special education law. She began taking courses to learn more about special education law and participating in her local Down syndrome advocacy group. After relocating to the Triangle, she joined Gahagan Paradis in October 2019 to focus primarily on representing parents and children in the special education setting. Alice and her husband, Jay Tolin, reside in Roxboro, North Carolina, with their three children.
NDSC Convention
The National Down Syndrome Congress Annual Convention has gone virtual! Now through June 27th, NDSC will offer programming and interactions for the whole family.
  • Workshops
  • Deep Dive Sessions
  • Youth & Adult Workshops
  • Brothers and Sisters Sessions
  • Age Specific Sharing Sessions
  • Full Day Event June 27th featuring plenary speaker Zack Gottsagen
  • Zoom 321 Dance Party
Delivered over the Internet, Reading A-Z is a constantly changing program. Each month, Reading A-Z adds new books, lesson plans, and other resources, thus continually expanding its wealth of materials. The website has more than 2,500 downloadable books (including English, Spanish, and French versions) and thousands of teaching and learning materials. NCDSA has purchased this online program for families to utilize while our students are out of school. For log in information, please email info@ncdsalliance.org .
Mahala's Teaching Reading and Math Tips
Healthcare & Direct Service Provider Training
Professional education webinars on a wide variety of important topics that address the needs and interests of professionals in the field of IDD.
Rescheduled: October 8 & 9, 2020
Eastern AHEC Education Center
Greenville, NC
Keep up to date - connect with NCDSA
NCDSA Board of Directors Meetings
Third Monday of the month | 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
By supporting NCDSA you help us embrace new families with welcome baby bags and provide expectant mothers with up-to-date resources.  You help to educate healthcare professionals on how to deliver a diagnosis of Down syndrome and provide healthcare guidelines for people with Down syndrome. Thank you!