Paige Carlson, mother to Cooper who has Down syndrome, has a heartwarming story about a gift they received, that inspired Paige and her family to do something special for their community.

“Cooper received the sweetest doll that resembled a child with Down syndrome as a gift. It was so sweet and meaningful for our family. This was the first time Cooper had a doll (or any toy) that he could see himself in. 

After seeing Cooper and Ella (my daughter) play with this doll it got me thinking about the power in play and how much kids learn through the toys they have access to. I started thinking how amazing it would be to have these dolls in preschools so that all kids (kids with and without Down syndrome) would have access to a doll that resembles a child with Down syndrome.

Having these dolls in preschools across our community could help normalize Down syndrome.  It also communicates a powerful message that individuals with Down syndrome are worthy and an important part of their classrooms and community.  Kids with Down syndrome are simply kids and giving children access to a doll with features of Down syndrome will help all children realize this.

The dolls will mean much more than a toy on a shelf. They will help bring awareness, equity, and acceptance to classrooms across our communities. 

I have a friend, Emma Tammoff, and her brother has Down syndrome. She encouraged me to set up a GoFund me and helped share the message. I shared a FB post with information about the doll and why I wanted the dolls to go to preschools. My post was shared over 90 times and the support was overwhelming! It was just so amazing to see!

I was able to raise about $4500 and donate 80 dolls to local preschools. I’m very excited about the amount we have been able to raise and how much this could impact our Rockwood preschools.”

Thank you to Paige and her family for doing such a wonderful thing for the community and for sharing your story!!!