Yesterday was the 19th Annual Buddy Walk brought to Utica by the National Down Syndrome Society, which I participated in with Utica College’s Psychology-Child Life Society. Before the walk began, there were activities for the kids that included a bouncy house, face painting, sand art, bubbles, music, and much more. It was awesome to see all of the kids dancing on stage, so happy and full of life.
It was interesting to learn that the Buddy Walk began all because of a mother’s drive to make sure her son was treated equally. On stage, speaking to the community of people who stood before her, she said, “We see them as God sees them, not how they look on the outside.”
In my eyes, that was such a powerful statement. It was beautiful to be a part of the special day. They were also giving out green star balloons this year, which was a great connection to this year’s theme, Reach for the Stars.
The most amazing thing about the walk definitely was the families and friends who were there supporting their loved ones. Many groups have their own t-shirts made with either pictures or sayings on them. Two quotes stood out to me in particular, they were “Down right perfect!” and “Love doesn’t count chromosomes!”
It was an amazing event and I will definitely continue to attend each year. Realistically, no matter how different we may be, we are all human beings who need love and acceptance.