For the past six years, West Forsyth High School has hosted the Piedmont Down Syndrome Support Network’s Buddy Walk, an event that raises funds and awareness for people with Trisomy 21 and their families.
And in the six years that West has hosted the event over $300,000 has been raised. Money is used to help with programs and other expenses that help the PDSSN to aid families with children with special needs.
And there will be times when I will post on what the PDSSN has one for our family, but there is an element to this event that speaks so loudly – the student volunteers.
In the past six years, West Forsyth students have volunteered their time and resources to help make this event possible.
On average, over 150 students will come out to help with food, setup, cleanup, games, raffle tickets, registration, and other duties. And never has a student reported a negative experience helping out with the Buddy Walk. In fact students from other schools high schools have come to help.
And there is the inclusive nature that this creates. When typical young people sometimes meet those who are differently abled, it can be a tad bit awkward. Not these students. They jump right in and engage. And kids like mine gravitate to that.
In a world where adults create divisions simply based on race, religion, presidential preference, income, and creed, it is redeeming to know that many in our younger generation don’t subscribe to exclusionary habits. The students that I witnessed at the Buddy Walk this year were about community, tolerance, acceptance, and relating to others.
In fact, that has been the case every year.
If anyone needs any assurance that our students care about what happens in the world that we leave to them, I invite you to go attend a service project that a high school service club engages in.
You will see something special that has no monetary amount associate with it.