I am nominating the London Down Syndrome Association (LDSA). LDSA is a completely volunteer driven organization which is unbelievable because they offer so many programs to the youth and families to ensure their integration and success in London and surrounding area.
The LDSA offers support and programs to the counties of Middlesex, Huron, Perth, Oxford, and Elgin. My daughter (17 years) would be lost without the LDSA's programs. She has many acquaintances in the community, but none compare to her true peers and the LDSA offers so many fantastic opportunities for her to socialize and learn with her peers. She loves the cooking school, music therapy, Club 21 (social skills program), and MOST ESPECIALLY Camp 21 which is a 3 week day camp for youth ages 7+ with Down Syndrome. It's a robust program offering karate, cooking, science, drum fit, arts, music, and dance in a constructive, supported environment. It runs during the month of July and by the time August rolls around, she is already chatting away in anticipation for the next Camp 21!! She truly talks about it all-year-long!!!
The LDSA receives no government or United Way funding and finances itself through their own fundraising year over year.
The LDSA offers support to parents commencing at birth by providing all engaged hospitals with parent packages full of resources, stories, links, etc. and now a newer parent package to help families segue their child into adulthood and what that can look like and where to find assistance and supports.
Please consider the LDSA -- they are a 100% volunteer organization who work tirelessly to improve life for people and their families living with Down Syndrome.
Learn more about London Down Syndrome Association