Florida Down Syndrome Awareness Specialized License Plate
TALLAHASSEE, Florida – Speaking on the road, a non-profit organization is working to obtain a license plate that specializes in raising awareness about Down’s syndrome in Tallahassee.
“I have two sons with Down’s syndrome and I have a daughter with epilepsy,” Hope Chinchak said.
Inspired by their family, Hope and her husband, Joe started the nonprofit Our City Beautiful in 2019. Their mission is to help people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities.
âDown syndrome is the most common genetic defect in humans,â Hope said. “This happens in roughly one in 700 births in the United States.”
She hopes that thousands of cars will soon become billboards advocating disorder.
âHere in Florida, we seem to like our specialty dishes. And so I said, well, why not?â
The Sunshine State’s arsenal of special dishes includes 123 currently on sale and 36 more in presale. After being approved by lawmakers, labels have two years to reach 3,000 pre-orders, and then they are printed or removed.
“I know a lot of parents, advocates, guardians who want to see their loved ones with Down’s syndrome represented. So I don’t have the feeling in my heart that we’re going to have a hard time getting that,” Hope said.
A pair of bills were introduced in Tallahassee to take the Down’s syndrome awareness plaque to the next level. The House bill is in committee, the Senate bill was tabled this week.
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If adopted, Our City Beautiful knows exactly what the money will be used for.
âOur overall mission is to build a small domestic community for design, for independent living, for adults with Down’s Syndrome and various other disabilities,â Hope explained.
50% of the funds would be used to build and maintain HOLLAND, the group’s first planned mini-home community. 35% would benefit other state nonprofits focused on helping people with Down syndrome.
âWe want a full grant to be available for organizations that they can apply for funds to use for their own scholarship programs,â Hope said.
The remaining 15% would help fund their own scholarship program so that Our City Beautiful could reward multiple people each year.
“For adults 18 and over with Down syndrome who want to continue their education. They want to go to college, school or trade or whatever they choose,” he said. Hope said.
With any luck raising awareness of Down syndrome and breaking down barriers one label at a time.
âHaving this tiny little way of standing up for our kids or loved ones is a great way to get a message out,â Hope said.