published in The Smithtown Messenger
Brittany Schiavone, who runs the local nonprofit Brittany’s Baskets of Hope, visited with National Junior Honor Society students at Accompsett Middle School in the Smithtown Central School District on March 14. The organization assembles and donates baskets for newborns around the country with Down syndrome. Schiavone, who has Down syndrome, said she started the nonprofit to welcome babies and their families to the Down syndrome family.
Schiavone spoke to students about her mission to make a change in the world and not be attached to the stereotypes that come along with different disabilities. Her organization brings information, support, and guidance to families who have given birth to a baby with Down syndrome. During the last 18 months, she has sent more than 600 baskets around the United States.
The baskets are filled with baby items such as onesies that read “Down right perfect;” rattles, headbands, hand knitted blankets, sweaters, hats and booties; resources and information for the parents; and a message from Brittany’s parents about the journey of raising a child with Down syndrome.
Sheri Fallacaro, National Junior Honor Society adviser, was one of her former teachers and organized the presentation for the middles school students. The National Junior Honor Society members also donated items to help fill up more baskets.