Over seven years ago, our journey began as Runnning for Lily, a platform to help spread awareness and acceptance for people with Down Syndrome within our community and fundraising for two local organizations that were there for us from the beginning. For the first few years, our annual fundraising event, The Annual Run Up for Downs, we raised over $62,000 for the Central Mississippi Down Syndrome Society and The Little Lighthouse of Central Mississippi.
Looking to the future for our children, we’ve spoken with several families over the years about the things their adult children are doing after completing high school. More times than not, the answer was “nothing” or that there were no opportunities available. There maybe a handful whose children with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities have jobs. Some businesses may not understand the capabilities or full potential of our children. This is where our new venture, the Lily Pad, comes into play.
Like a frog using a lily pad, we want to be a stepping stone to the next path. The Lily Pad will be a cafe that will employ and train young adults with special needs (not just Down syndrome) in every aspect of food and hospitality service. This training will encompass social and life skills, providing significant experience that might not be gained in a typical setting. Our goal is to equip these men and women with the tools necessary to obtain employment by local businesses so that they can not only achieve their full potential, but display to the community their abundant talents and abilities.
Check out the current list of businesses that we have already partnered up with by clicking HERE.
Want to help us in our goal of raising $500,000 to start up the Lily Pad? You can:
- 1. Register to Run/Walk either the 1 mile fun run OR the 3.21 at runupfordowns.com
- 2. Sign up for a Food Row wristband & come and enjoy the food, drinks, live music, silent auction & much more at runupfordowns.com
- 3. Sign up as a Virtual Runner & we will mail you your shirt & race packet at runupfordowns.com
- 4. Get your business or the business you work for to sponsor : https://thelilypadms.com/register-for-the-up-for-do…/sponsor/
- 5. By donating at https://thelilypadms.com/donate/. We are a registered non-profit and a 501c3 so all donations are tax deductible.