Plymouth Whitemarsh High School students, faculty, and staff rocked some crazy socks on March 18 and 19 in honor of World Down Syndrome Day, and in the process, they raised $380 for both the PW Best Buddies Club and Sydney's Soldiers, a non-profit organization that supports families of children with disabilities.
The PW Best Buddies Club initiated a fundraiser to sell wacky socks in advance of March 21, a date that has become designated for fun footwear as part of the Rock Your Socks campaign and World Down Syndrome Day. The campaign is held on March 21 because people with Down Syndrome have three copies of their 21st chromosome. The purpose of wearing mismatched or colorful socks is to celebrate differences and raise awareness of the syndrome, which is the most common chromosomal disorder diagnosed in the United States. According to the CDC, about 6,000 babies each year are born with Down Syndrome.
"To me, rocking your socks means showing off what makes you unique. I think each and every single one of us has something special to offer the world, and all of us rocking our socks shows that even though we're all different, we all have something to celebrate just by being ourselves," said Emma Manley, PWHS Junior. "I loved that we were able to rock our socks despite all the challenges that we've faced in the past year, and I'm hopeful that we get to continue this awesome tradition for years to come."
Because March 21 fell on the weekend, PWHS celebrated a few days early. Students involved in the Best Buddies Club enjoyed the opportunity to organize the fundraiser and participate in the day. PWHS Ninth Grader Hannah Thompson noted, "it was fun to see all different socks," as the school came together to celebrate individual differences.
The Best Buddies Club pairs regular education students with other students who have developmental and/or intellectual disabilities with the goal of fostering lifelong friendships. Club members play games and engage in other fun activities with their buddies several times throughout each month.
"The Rock Your Socks Fundraiser was an easy and super fun event to participate in," said PWHS Senior Madi Kuruc. "It was great to walk into the building and see lots of students, teachers, and staff proudly rocking their unique and creative side, while consciously advocating for inclusion and the acceptance of everyone's differences."