The Buddy Walk® was established in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October and to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. Today, the Buddy Walk® program is supported nationally by NDSS and organized at the local level by parent support groups, schools and other organizations and individuals.
Over the past fourteen years, the Buddy Walk® program has grown from 17 walks to more than 280 expected in 2009 across the country and around the world. Last year alone, 250,000 people participated in a Buddy Walk®! They raised $10.5 million to benefit national education, research and advocacy initiatives, as well as local programs. These funds enable NDSS and local groups to offer services that support and enhance the quality of life for individuals with Down syndrome and their families.
The Buddy Walk® is a one-mile walk in which anyone can participate without special training. It is a wonderful, heart-warming event that celebrates the many abilities and accomplishments of people with Down syndrome. Whether you have Down Syndrome, know someone who does, or just want to show your support, come and join a Buddy Walk® in your local community!