The Buddy Walk® was established in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October and to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. Today, the Buddy Walk program is supported nationally by NDSS and organized at the local level by parent support groups, schools and other organizations and individuals.
Over the past sixteen years, the Buddy Walk program has grown from 17 walks to nearly 300 expected in 2011 across the country and around the world. Last year alone, 285,000 people participated in a Buddy Walk! They raised more than $11.2 million to benefit local programs and services as well as the national advocacy initiatives that benefit all individuals with Down syndrome.
The Buddy Walk is a one-mile walk in which anyone can participate without special training. It is an inspirational and educational event that celebrates the many abilities and accomplishments of people with Down syndrome. Whether you have Down syndrome, know someone who does, or just want to show your support, come and join a Buddy Walk in your local community!