(ABC4) – A Utah nonprofit is gathering funds to help find families for orphaned children all over the world with Down syndrome through a virtual challenge called ‘Three 21.’
As we near World Down Syndrome Day on March 21, Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome, (RODS), is asking the public to get involved by centering their focus on the number 21, to represent the extra 21 chromosomes that individuals with Down syndrome have.
“March 21st, is a special day, it’s World Down Syndrome Day and in celebration of this event, Racing for Orphans with Down syndrome is hosting Three 21,” Founder Brady Murray shares.” It’s very simple to participate.”
Photos courtesy of RODS
In order to get involved, RODS says all you have to do is ‘Share, Do and Donate.’
“To kick it all off, we’re first going to invite you to share,” chimes Michael McKnight, RODS’ Director of Operations. “You might have seen a special video circulating the internet of some special friends of ours doing a dance. We would like you to share that happiness from that video with 21 of your friends.”
According to the organization, participants are asked to share the video on social media and tag friends to ‘brighten their day’.
The next thing the organization wants is participants to do three things centered around the number 21.
“You could ride 21 miles on your bike, you could run for 21 minutes, bake 21 cookies for a friend, or simply make 21 people smile,” Murray adds. “It’s really up to you and what you are doing that day.”
After participants have shared the video of children with Down Syndrome with 21 people, and have done something centered around the number 21, Murray and McKnight ask participants to then donate to the cause.
“Right now there are so many orphans who are ready to be identified and advocated for,” McKnight states. “As donations grow on their behalf, the opportunity to advocate for them will also grow.”
According to RODS, once advocacy grows for these children, the opportunity for their forever families to find them will also follow suit.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the RODS organization is doing its fundraising virtually through its Three 21 event from now until the end of March.
Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome, first came to genesis in 2007.
“Our Founder, Brady Murray, had his life change forever as he held his newborn son in his arms,” reads their website. “The doctor told Brady that his son Nash had Down syndrome. What initially felt like an overwhelming challenge, has now become the greatest blessing.”
Photos courtesy of RODS
According to the organization, Murray and his wife Andrea soon realized the incredible amount of joy and love brought into their family by having a child with Down syndrome. Nash has surprised them with his happiness and ability to demonstrate unconditional love to all.
“Nash is the inspiration behind RODS and the reason we fight to bring other children with Down syndrome to a loving family of their own,” they add.
RODS is structured to bring purpose to individuals who race, and to provide support and financial assistance to families willing to give these sweet orphans a forever home.
“Join us in a cause that makes a real difference, a permanent change, and a lasting impact,” they add. “We care about each child and helping them succeed, this is why we raise funds for one child at a time. Whether you would like to adopt, donate, or race we hope you will choose to be a RODS Hero and pave the way to bring more orphans with Down syndrome to a family of their own!”