The 2018 hurricane season has been extraordinarily active in parts of the U.S., with Hurricane Florence currently impacting millions in the Carolinas. As this natural disaster unfolds, the staff here at VolunteerMatch is doing its part to ensure that, if you are in an affected community, you are prepared and safe. And if you are looking to help with disaster relief efforts, you know about the most effective ways to contribute.
PALS Programs provides a place for young adults with Down syndrome and their peers to have fun, grow as individuals, and build transformative friendships.
Our programming is built around Camp PALS, our weeklong summer sleep away camps held on college campuses across the country. We’ve expanded our reach with PALS Adventures, weekend get-a-ways during our off-season at retreat centers, resorts, and rented homes. And we strengthen our community with The Congratulations Project, reaching out to congratulate and welcome new families of babies with Down syndrome through letters written by our campers.
While our programming has grown, our model stays the same. We believe in one-to-one pairings that create strong bonds and lifelong friendships. We focus on peerto-peer relationships, trusting in young volunteer leaders to develop age-appropriate programming and to be eager to affect social change. We value residential experiences - recognizing that real impact comes from immersive experiences, and real change comes in the moments you least expect it. We hold specific values of who we are. We are welcoming and supportive. We are a family that is passionate and genuine, and always has fun.
PALS has shaped the lives of hundreds of individuals over the past eleven years. Half of us have Down syndrome, but all of us know the value of friendship, the thrill of being on a team, and the best place to experience summer. Together, we challenge each other to be a little better, and to see the world a little differently, with each passing year.