Moncton Down Syndrome Society seeks letters about loved ones
Published Wednesday, December 5, 2018 10:45PM AST
Last Updated Thursday, December 6, 2018 4:57PM AST
The Greater Moncton Down Syndrome Society wants your letters, poems and artwork inspired by someone special who has the condition.
The letters will be compiled into a book to raise awareness about the condition.
“They are happy when they see you on the playground,” is just one of the notes written about eight-year-old Carly.
Sandra Blatt-Arsenault has accumulated a table full of what she's calling “love letters” -- notes written by people with Down syndrome or by those who have someone living with Down syndrome in their life.
“If you have Down syndrome, you want to share with the world, new parents or parents who are seasoned why it's so awesome to have Down syndrome and why you can be a great friend, a great worker or a great teammate,” said Blatt-Arsenault.
The idea came from a similar effort in the United Kingdom where groups were including love letters in gift baskets given to new parents whose children were born with Down syndrome.
“I thought it was a sweet idea and I wanted to make it bigger,” said Blatt-Arsenault.“I thought what if we did this and made it into a book. So I brought it to the board of directors at the Greater Moncton Down Syndrome Society and everyone thought it was a great idea.”
So, that's what they're doing. The call was made on social media for submissions and a number have already come in from around the world. The students at Carly's school even took it upon themselves to write their own letters describing what they liked about her.
“We've already gotten submissions from Wales, we've gotten some from the U.S., we've gotten some from other provinces in Canada and we're just really excited,” said Blatt-Arsenault.
Once complete the book will be made available to libraries, schools and hospitals
“Giving this to the hospitals, it gives parents another side, another view of the experience they're about to embark on,” said parent Ben Vuillemot.“That's the whole point of this project is to let people know, hey, even though your son or daughter is going to have Down syndrome, you're going to have a wonderful time with them.”
The deadline for submissions is Dec. 31. The book of love letters will be released on March 21, which happens to be world Down syndrome day.
You can submit a letter through the Greater Moncton Down Syndrome Society website.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jonathan MacInnis.