Today, PALS Executive Director Jenni Newbury Ross shares an update on The Congratulations Project:
“Exactly one year ago, Camp PALS camper John Kellis and I walked into NBC studios for the filming of The Meredith Vieira Show. Together we shared about PALS and our work with the Congratulations Project. As many of you know, the Congratulations Project invites our campers to write letters to new parents of babies with Down syndrome. During this powerful segment, Meredith surprised John with a visit from Jonas and his mom, a family that had received John’s letter. Additionally, PALS was surprised with a generous gift from Babies R Us - supplies for gift baskets to accompany the letters that we sent to these new families.
We are so grateful for this opportunity to share the Congratulations Project with the world. Since the show’s filming we have distributed almost 250 letters to new families!
Now that the Babies R Us supplies have been utilized, we are looking for a new sponsor to help us share the powerful words of our campers with the newest members of the Down syndrome community.
From the very start of this initiative our vision was to welcome and celebrate with parents who may feel anxious, overwhelmed, or uncertain of their future. Over the past few years, it has been our honor to be told that we’re doing just that.
“Your package and letter was the first one we received after hearing our son’s diagnosis and it gave us such hope.”
“I am putting this in her baby book so when she gets older she can read it and see the picture of you.”
“It gave me so much hope and strength when I was still trying to figure out what DS would mean for our son…Thank you for giving me that first glimpse into what a great life he will have.”
“I feel like we’ve been on an Island this whole time and we just received a message in a bottle.”
We will be sharing more photos and stories around The Congratulations Project as we continue to try and spread our reach. If you have any ideas about a potential sponsor or partner for this project please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. “
–Jenni Newbury Ross, Executive Director, PALS Programs