Charity hopping around the world

Welcome to Charity hopping around the world!

Charity hopping around the world is hosted by I am a reader, not a writer, Reading Away the Days and
Reading a Little Bit of Everything.


Today I want to introduce you to a charity dedicated to promote and support the inclusion of people with Down Syndrome. March 21 was World Down Syndrome Day, so this is the perfect opportunity to talk a little bit about them. One of our boys has Down Syndrome and those charities are close to my heart.


My local charity

The German charity DS-Infocenter is a charity that has its office close to where we live, so I have been there a couple of times and Sean has been one of their poster boys for the Down Syndrome Day the last two years, so I know the people there and what they do on a personal level. 

They have introduced regular consultation hours for children with Down Syndrome of up to four years at a local pediatric clinic to which people from far and wide are coming. They publish a magazine, organize regular events, like speeches by renowned experts on Down Syndrome, create information flyers for the public and much more. sean2

The photo shooting where these pictures were taken was done at a very discounted price by Conny Wenk, a photographer who also has a child with Down Syndrome (btw, the cutest girl ever). In return we gave permission to use the photos to promote their cause. Imagine my surprise when a few months later I went to the hospital with Sean’s older brother and Sean looked down at us from a huge poster in the waiting area! I was so enthusiastic that I completely forgot about Corin’s broken wrist (for a few seconds).

Links to Down Syndrome charities in other countries

Reading tips

  • Welcome to Holland by Emily Perl Kinglsey (a short essay you can read for free on the net)
  • Aussergewöhnlich by Conny Rapp (now Conny Wenk, the photographer I talked about earlier). A great book about mothers and her children with Down Syndrome. When we had Sean this was the best book to get. Nothing scientific, but heart warming, optimistic and uplifting.
    I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about DS organizations and have a further look around. If you would like to know about future giveaways and new posts in general please consider subscribing to my RSS feed or follow me on twitter. You can also add me on Google+.


What am I giving away?

The year my son and I were bornI am giving away a copy of The year my son and I were born by Kathryn Lynard Soper.

This is the blurb:

With six other children at home, Kathryn Lynard Soper was prepared for the challenges another newborn would bring. But after Thomas’s complicated birth, his diagnosis—Down syndrome—forced her to face her deepest fears and weaknesses, her ignorance and prejudice, and her limitations as a mother and as a human being. Her struggle, coupled with the demands of caring for a fragile baby and juggling her family’s needs, sparked the worst episode of depression she’d experienced in decades.
The Year My Son and I Were Born is Soper’s brutally honest yet beautiful account of how she escaped a downward spiral of despair and emerged with newfound peace. Antidepressant therapy restored her equilibrium, and interactions with friends and family brought needed perspective. But the most profound change came through her growing relationship with Thomas. His radiant presence shone through her outer layers of self, where fear and guilt festered, and reached the center of her very being—where love, acceptance, and gratitude blossomed in abundance.

I am ordering the book from The Book Depository for you, so the giveaway is open to all countries The Book Depository delivers to.

Enter the giveaway

To enter all you need to do is leave a comment and tell me why you would like to read this book. Please, don’t forget your name and email address.

The other participants

Don’t forget to hop on to the other participating blogs and have fun!

You can find a full list of participants either at I am a reader, not a writer or at Reading Away the Days and
Reading a Little Bit of Everything.

15 Comments Write a comment

  1. That’s such a great charity you chose! I’d love to win this book, because I’m actually very interested in the topic. Last year, I worked in a kindergarten for children with and without disabilites. Do I understand correctly that you’re from Germany? Because if so, you might know about the program Freiwilliges Soziales Jahr. That’s the program with which I went to the kindergarten. I have to say that it was very impressive and that it was for sure the best year of my life. I still work there every now and then when someone’s ill or someone’s on holidays. I miss the kids so much!

    Right now I’m studying to become a teacher. A teacher at a high school, but nevertheless I’m still very interested in the topic – and one of my subjects is Educational Science. And as there will probably a lot of more school for disabled and non-disabled children in the future, I’d love to read this book to get to know more about it.

    Thank you so much for this awesome giveaway! Hope you’re going to have a wonderful weekend!
    Miriam’s last post ..update #1


    • Hi Miriam, ja, das freiwillige soziale Jahr kenne ich, aber nicht aus eigener Erfahrung. Schön, daß dir das Arbeiten mit behinderten und nicht-behinderten Kindern gefallen hat. Sean kommt dieses Jahr in die Schule und die Auswahl ist schwer gewesen. Andererseits, bis Regelschulen soweit sind, daß ich ihn guten Gewissens dorthin schicken würde, wird noch einige Zeit vergehen. Aber Dtl. ist auf dem richtigen Weg, auch wenn er lang und beschwerlich ist…:)
      Dir auch ein schönes Wochenende!


  2. it looks like a very moving story and both me and my mum would love to read it!

    aliasgirl at libero dot it



  3. +JMJ+

    What a great charity! Your son Sean is a beautiful boy.

    I would like to read this book because I believe that every child is a gift and a miracle, and I am good friends with people with children with disabilities that others find hard to understand or to tolerate. One is a little girl with cystic fibrosis; the other is a boy on the autism spectrum. The mother of the boy was the one who shared with me the analogy that before our children are born, we imagine that parenting is a trip to Italy–and we study up on Italy and look forward to seeing it all our lives–and then when our children are born and the plane lands, we see to our dismay that we’re actually in Holland. The journey of discovery and love begins when we let go of the dream of Italy and start to see everything wonderful about Holland. This sounds like what Kathryn Lynard Soper went through after Thomas was born, and I would love to read about that and to lend this book to my friends as well.

    Thanks for this giveaway and for spotlighting such a great charity!


    • The Italy and Holland analogy is a great way to explain to people how you feel at the beginning. You simply need to shift your perspectrive a little and start to see all the great things about Holland instead of mourning about not being able to see Italy.
      Seneca was right when he said that one has to change one’s soul, not one’s sky.


  4. I would like to read this book to learn more about down syndrome from a parents perspective.


  5. I’d like to read this book, because it sounds like it’s a really warm story. I know what it’s like to deal with this kind of stuff. It would be easy for me to “feel” the book, I think.
    Irene’s last post ..Første feriedag


  6. I would like to read this book because I work with children and I love reading books like this. Thank you for the giveaway.


  7. wow, just the summary brought tears to my eyes. I would love to hear about her life.


  8. I would love to read this book because it sounds like a wonderful story.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com


  9. I’ve known a few people with Down Syndrome in my neighbourhood and have become familiar with the challenges faced by their families in helping them live normal lives. I would love to read this book to gain a deeper understanding and, hopefully, gain some valuable lessons in the process.

    Thank you for this chance!:)




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