In 2012, the United Nations marked March 21st as World Down Syndrome Day. This international day is observed to raise awareness of Down syndrome around the world. The 2023 theme for World Down Syndrome Day is “With Us, Not For Us.” The call to all people and organizations everywhere is to include and support people with disabilities by doing things “With” them, not “For” them.
This is a special day for LiveBeyond. Johnny, Laurie’s brother, had Down syndrome. Throughout his life, Johnny inspired anyone who met him, and he is the inspiration for the Johnny’s Kids program. Johnny’s Kids exists to serve children with disabilities in underserved communities. Working with children with disabilities, including, but not limited to, Down syndrome, was one of LiveBeyond’s first initiatives in Thomazeau, Haiti. Now, Johnny’s Kids is supporting and encouraging children with disabilities and their families in Haiti and Israel!
The Johnny’s Kids children are some of the most joyful and determined kids we know! Children with Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Hydrocephalus, Microcephaly, visual impairments, and many other disabilities come to Johnny’s Kids for the opportunity to learn and grow in a loving and nurturing environment tailored to meet their needs. For most children, Johnny’s Kids is the first time they get a formal education and access to therapy.
Serving children with a disability and their families is a way to increase positive opportunities for often forgotten and neglected people. In many places around the world, children with disabilities and their families do not have any support or resources. Too often, children with disabilities do not have access to or cannot afford therapy or education.
LiveBeyond is happy to come alongside children with disabilities and their families to offer support and resources through Johnny’s Kids. The children in the Johnny’s Kids program have such an infectious joy that they freely give, and LiveBeyond wants to take every opportunity to increase that joy.
Through quality education, therapy, and nutritional support LiveBeyond helps children reach their full potential. At Johnny’s Kids, children with disabilities can improve their overall health with nutrition-packed meals, increase their physical abilities by working with professional therapists and expand their education by attending school. The Johnny’s Kids program is dedicated to creating opportunities that have a long-term, positive impact on the lives of children with disabilities.
It brings us great joy to share that the Johnny’s Kids programs in Haiti and Israel continue to grow! Every year we serve more children with disabilities and their families. In the last year, enrollment has been at its highest, and new teachers, therapists, and administrators have been hired to serve the children better. Johnny’s Kids is working with children with disabilities and their families to improve their quality of life. The Johnny’s Kids programs teach the surrounding communities how to better care for, love, & include children with disabilities & their families.
All children of all abilities deserve love and to have the opportunity to learn and grow. No child should be outcast or forgotten because of a disability. Everyone loses when a child does not reach their full potential. And that is why LiveBeyond is dedicated to providing opportunities that make a positive difference in the lives of children with disabilities in Haiti and Israel. The Johnny’s Kids program provides a place where children with a disability and their families feel seen, loved, and supported.
We praise God for what he is doing and invite you to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day with us! The children at Johnny’s Kids and their families are truly extraordinary. Together we are creating positive change for children with disabilities and their families.
LiveBeyond is beyond thankful to all of you who make Johnny’s Kids possible. When you pray & donate to LiveBeyond, you create a positive impact in the lives of children with disabilities & their families. Together we are creating a more loving and inclusive world where children of all abilities can reach their full potential. Thank you for your continued prayer and support of Johnny’s Kids.
Let’s continue to work “With” children with disabilities to help them reach their goals and dreams. If you would like to help create more opportunities for children with disabilities and their families in Haiti and Israel, you can donate to LiveBeyond here.
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