Christina Collins Burton
On Monday the Campus Activities Board organized a Down Syndrome awareness project for which students made bracelets to donate to the Pomona Buddy Walk’s participating children.
Nicole Wood, junior accounting major, helped in organizing the bracelet-making event so children participating in the Upland Buddy Walk could wear the bracelets made by students.
“There is going to be a stage (at the walk) and they are going to bring the kids up one by one so we can give the bracelets to them,” Wood said.
Wood suggested the idea to the CAB committee during a brainstorming session at the beginning of the semester.
CAB committee members sat at the table to offer assistance to anyone that might have needed help tying or measuring how much string they would need to create the bracelets.
Those working at the table offered a gift of a blue and yellow ribbon to allow students to show awareness for Down Syndrome by pinning it to their shirt or backpack during the rest of the day.
The beads offered were small prism shapes and some were interlocking beads for students to make bracelets to be given to children on Sunday, the day of the walk.
The beads were neon and pastel colored, and alphabet beads allowed anonymous messages of hope to be passed to the child recipients.
The booth was popular among those passing by; there was always at least four people standing over the beads station carefully stringing bracelets.
Outside the Campus Center was a sign giving a brief explanation of what Down Syndrome is.
As students walked to class some slowed to read the sign and sparked conversations among the students that already surrounded the table.
“We want to make 50 bracelets, but if we can make more then that is encouraged,” Coni Cartagena said.
Cartagena is a sophomore Spanish major and holds a position on the CAB committee that helped organized the event.
CAB was pleasantly surprised to discover they had collected over 70 bracelets to donate.
Messages on the bracelets ranged from ‘Love’ to ‘Strength’ and varied in size depending on the creator of the gift.
“I made one bracelet that says ‘hugs,’” Amanda Cox, an International Studies in German major, said.
Cox has a history with Down Syndrome because she grew up with family members that were diagnosed and two friends that live perfectly normal lives with the disorder.
“I think it is wonderful because it informs people that don’t know about [Down Syndrome] and it brings people together to make gifts for people they don’t even know,” Cox said.
The Pomona National Down Syndrome Association is hosting the Buddy Walk in Upland Memorial park.
The walk pairs up children and a mentor to walk the one-mile on foothill to spread Down Syndrome awareness.
For more information on the Buddy walk, contact Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org or call CAB at 909-593-3511, ext. 4422.
Christina Collins Burton can be reached at email@example.com.