Since its founding in 1990, Family Connection of South Carolina has informed, educated and advocated for more than 100,000 families in the state who have children with a disability or chronic health condition. The Columbia-based organization helps these families navigate the complex health care and public education systems.
Support groups and peer-to-peer training offer opportunities for experienced parents to encourage and advise those who are just confronting the unique challenges of raising their own special child. In addition to providing support and resources, Family Connection also sponsors a variety of opportunities and activities for its client community.
Meeting and Events Manager Jacki Garbinsky is enthusiastic about two upcoming, free events: “This year we will be hosting our annual Buddy Walk in person on Oct. 24 at the athletic field at Saluda Shoals Park. This beautiful, centrally located setting is an ideal meeting place for our families and their friends and teams. Buddy Walk offers family-friendly activities, an awards ceremony and more. Supporters from across the state can donate or fundraise online and participate on Buddy Walk Day to make new friends, enjoy family tailgating – some food will also be provided – and share nature’s beauty.”
Since October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, funds raised will be targeted for both the Down syndrome community and the services Family Connection provides to its special- needs’ families.
Garbinsky continued: “While you are in Columbia, consider visiting Family Connection’s LOOK! 2021 photography exhibit in the upstairs gallery of the Koger Center (until Oct. 31). You can also enjoy our self-guided, self-paced LOOK! Art Walk Tour of businesses spread across the greater downtown Columbia area (through December). Both at the Koger Center and downtown, you can screen a QR code to access each participating child’s heartwarming story. LOOK! Books — complimentary to 2021 participating families — are also available for purchase.”
Information about events, referrals, family services and professional opportunities can be found online at www.familyconnectionsc.org or by calling 800-578-8750 or 888-808-7462 for Spanish-speaking families.