Our Focus

CELEBRATION - Our motto is “Celebrating the GIFT of Down syndrome.” And nowhere is this more evident than with our concert series. We host events across the nation attracting thousands of hearts and minds. Our concerts feature world-class musicians with a passion for the cause. Through music, pictures and personal stories, audiences are moved to tears, not of sympathy, but of joy and thanksgiving for the gift of Down syndrome. Without exception, every concert has been remarkable. Our angels, and the ones who love them so dearly, make certain of this. Far from typical and more than just music, an Angels in Disguise concert unforgettably showcases and shares the talent, accomplishment, inspiration and smiles of angels. A chance for them to shine in the light they so genuinely deserve. And true to the individuals they celebrate, each concert is uniquely powerful; a truly heart-touching and life-changing experience for both audience and angels. These concerts have proven to be the perfect medium to promote our message of celebration. We would love to share these gifts with your community.

AWARENESS - Awareness is everything. Promoting a positive perception of Down syndrome is paramount in all our efforts. With every Angels in Disguise fundraising effort or special event, awareness takes the forefront. With all our passion, we take any opportunity to advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of every individual with Down syndrome. Our goal is to move people to look beyond the disguise. To see individuals with Down syndrome as the true angels they are. The overwhelmingly positive influence these angels have on families and communities is unquestionable. People need only to see and hear for themselves. Many simply have limited or no exposure to Down syndrome. Their thoughts and ideas are based on a mountain of misconceptions. The opportunities currently available have never been greater. However, it is only through the collective efforts of families, friends, professionals, organizations and concerned communities that acceptance is becoming even more widespread. Awareness will lead to inspiration. Inspiration will lead to positive and meaningful change.

RESEARCH -  Angels in Disguise recognizes the need for advancement in our understanding about Down syndrome to improve the lives of Angels. Although Down syndrome is one of the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability, it is among the least funded for research. Making advancements in our understanding opens the doors for effective early therapeutic and medical interventions, to give Angels their best opportunity to reach their full potential. We believe that these advancements will give mothers facing a prenatal diagnosis with Down syndrome, a true and more positive outlook for their child’s future! In 2014, Angels in Disguise initiated a research grant named after Thomas S. Vander Woude through the Jerome Lejeune Foundation. In 2008, Mr. Vander Woude heroically gave his life while saving his son, Joseph, who had fallen into a septic tank while working on his family farm. Mr. Vanderwoude’s sacrifice is a testimony to the dignity and value of human life.

EDUCATION - Everyone needs a little help. Angels with Down syndrome and their families are no different. Sadly, sometimes good help can be hard to come by, especially for angels. For years, individuals with Down syndrome have been grossly underestimated. Negative perception and misunderstanding have led to lowered expectations, marginalized potential and limited opportunities, most notably in education. The majority of children with Down syndrome have only gained access to formal education within the last 30 years. Recent strides have been made. Still, an astonishing number of private schools will not accept individuals with Down syndrome, and far too often public options lack the priority, capacity or resources worthy of angels. Help is needed. Angels in Disguise contributes in-kind to schools, organizations and programs that effectively cater to inclusive and unhindered Down syndrome education. We also provide individual scholarship to families in need. Every angel deserves the finest educational opportunity to enhance their quality of life, realize their aspirations and reach their full potential.  

SUPPORT - Angels have a lot of great friends. And it’s a good thing because sometimes they need a little help to fly. There are many organizations doing incredible work in support of Down syndrome. Angels in Disguise partners and promotes, in passion and fund-raising, with many of these friends including local Down syndrome groups, Best Buddies, Special Olympics and Reece’s Rainbow among others. 100% of all Angels in Disguise donations go directly to the cause. All administration is volunteer and event expenses are sponsored or donated. We utilize a variety of fund-raising efforts. Specific examples include the promotion and sale of an Angels in Disguise CD and our Home for Halos program. The CD includes the Down syndrome inspired music featured at our concerts. Our Home for Halos program recruits businesses and community organizations to sell Halos to customers and friends for $1 donations. We encourage our partners to proudly display the Halos to promote front of mind awareness for Down syndrome. We are continually looking for new friends to assist with our fund-raising efforts.