FRIENDS-DOWN SYNDROME SPECIAL NEEDS WEST FLORIDA INC

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F.R.I.E.N.D.S. DOWN SYNDROME SPECIAL NEEDS - WEST FLORIDA, INC.


F.R.I.E.N.D.S. (Families, Respect, Inspire, Educate, Networking, Down syndrome & Special needs) – West Florida

A 501c3 Non-profit organization that provides information, education, programs, and fun activities for our Down Syndrome and Special Needs community in Hillsborough and Pinellas.

Contact us! (813)245-2782

Email: info@friendssupport.org Website: www.friendssupport.org 
TAX EIN#65-1261646

Address: 12704 Barrett Dr. Tampa FL 33624

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. anagram stands for:


Families, Respect, Inspire, Education, Networking, Down Syndrome, Special needs.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. MISSION


  • FRIENDS MISSION 

    • To support new parents, families, and individuals diagnosed with Down syndrome or other special needs.
    • To provide our special needs community support groups, resources, and educational information.
    • To provide vital programs and activities for our Down syndrome and Special Needs community so they can connect, find support, and make FRIENDS.
    • To Advocate for Inclusion, Equality, & Diversity!

GOLDSTAR PLATIUM SEAL OF TRANSPARENCY

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F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Down Syndrome, Special Needs - West Florida


is proud to announce it has received the 2023 Goldstar Platinum Seal of Transparency for the third year.


GuideStar is the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations and the platinum rating is GuideStar’s highest level of recognition. In previous years, GuideStar has recognized F.R.I.E.N.D.S. with the silver, gold and most recently, with the platinum rating.

In an effort to be completely transparent F.R.I.E.N.D.S. will post on their website each year their IRS 990 PF Forms, along with:


  • Bylaws & Conflict of Interest Policy's
  • Annual Report
  • Profit and Loss Report
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NEW & EXPECTANT PARENTS

Learning your pre or postpartum baby has Down syndrome and/or other special needs can be very difficult to hear. This unexpected news may generate a wide range of emotions and unanswered questions. F.R.I.E.N.D.S. can provide the emotional support and guidance you may need while answering any questions that you may have. Call anytime (813)245-2782.  Learn More Here

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NEW PARENTS

Learning that your unborn baby has Down syndrome can be very difficult to hear. This unexpected news may generate a wide range of emotions and questions.
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WHAT IS DOWN SYNDROME

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused when abnormal cell division results in extra genetic material from the 21st chromosome.  Down syndrome causes a distinct facial appearance, developmental delays, and can cause disorders of the thyroid, heart, and GI system.  Medical specialist will need to conduct additional screenings.  Early Intervention programs with Speech, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy are very helpful.  Special educators who treat each child's specific situation are helpful in managing Down syndrome. Click Here to Download the PDF
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PHYSICIANS

Learning the diagnosis is extremely difficult for parents and should be handled delicately. Physician’s we urge you to watch the attached film as it will give you valuable insights on how to deliver the news. Click here to Learn More
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VOLUNTEER


Click here to sign up for our Volunteer Programs

VOLUNTEER - Thank you for your interest in volunteering for F.R.I.E.N.D.S. We are always in need of great volunteers who are hard-working, organized and who love interacting with our families.  Please click on the link to fill out our Volunteer Application and we will get back to you ASAP.
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MEMBERSHIP

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. membership is free! To receive all benefits of membership you must live within Hillsborough, Pinellas counties. Membership includes free access to F.R.I.E.N.D.S. year-round programs, events, and scholarships. Click here to learn more and sign up. 
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F.R.I.E.N.D.S. CALENDAR

World Down Syndrome Day (3/21)

March 21st (3.21) WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY
World Down Syndrome Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about Down syndrome and celebrating individuals around the world living with the genetic condition. According to the World Down Syndrome Day website, the date for WDSD being the 21st day of the 3rd month was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome. 


April 2nd WORLD AUTISM DAY
Every April Autism Speaks celebrates World Autism Day, beginning with the United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. This year marks the 16th annual World Autism Awareness Day.

Throughout the month, we focus on sharing stories and providing opportunities to increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism, fostering worldwide support. This year, we are committed to standing together to make a world of difference for people on the spectrum.

We need your support.

Your support will has a direct impact on the people we serve! The lasting impact of your support will help us expand our services. We are wanting to open our own service building in the Brandon area and need to raise $200,000 to do so.  We're counting on you to help raise the vital funds needed to support F.R.I.E.N.D.S. programs and services, and increase awareness about Down syndrome and other special needs. Thank you again for supporting our mission, the families we serve, promoting community involvement and encouraging a lifetime of opportunities for people with Down syndrome.

What is Down Syndrome?

Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring genetic condition at 1 in every 800 births. Down syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic levels. More than 250,000 people in the United States are living with the condition.  F.R.I.E.N.D.S. welcomes approximately 20-30 new babies each year. Down syndrome is not a disease and people do not suffer from it. They are born with Down syndrome and will have it their whole life.
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