PLATINUM2024

FRIENDS DOWN SYNDROME WEST FLORIDA

I can and I will

aka FRIENDS DOWN SYNDROME WEST FLORIDA   |   Tampa, FL   |  http://www.friendssupport.org
GuideStar Charity Check

FRIENDS DOWN SYNDROME WEST FLORIDA

EIN: 65-1261646


Mission

The Mission of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. is to provide free all-encompassing educational and support services to families who have been impacted by Down Syndrome or other Special Needs, while advocating and promoting community integration. Our Goals are to provide broad reaching educational services, provide peer to peer support, and offer fun social activities for our individuals and families in the Tampa Bay Area. We proudly serve Hillsborough, Pinellas, & Pasco County.

Notes from the nonprofit

OUR MOTTO IS "I CAN AND I WILL"

Ruling year info

2007

President/Executive Director

Ashley Odom

Main address

12704 Barrett Drive

Tampa, FL 33624 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

F.R.I.E.N.D. SUPPORT

FRIENDS DOWN SYNDROME TAMPA

EIN

65-1261646

Subject area info

Down syndrome

Community and economic development

Family services

Population served info

Infants and toddlers

Adults

Families

People with disabilities

NTEE code info

Down's Syndrome (G25)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (S12)

Family Services (P40)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

1. We have two kinds of parents, ones who do not know of the DS diagnosis before birth and those that do. The ones the find out their child has a diagnosis of DS after birth are left with a great deal of stress, anxiety, and need for information. 2. Parents with special needs child need resources and information on services available. 3. Since our children are developmentally delayed some may not reach the milestones needed to be accepted into daycare and schools. 4. Parents with special needs children lack the social interactions that come with raising a special needs child. 5. Our children grow into adults and they need jobs. 6. Our adults need affordable housing.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Baby Friends

BABY F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Our wonderful volunteers, Tammy Whatley, & Paula Marsell in Brandon and Ashley Odom, host a monthly, Baby F.R.I.E.N.D.S., for our birth to 5yrs old. Baby FRIENDS is a play and support group where parents can meet other parents who are on the same journey. Held monthly at We Rock the Spectrum in Brandon and St. Petersburg. For more information check out our website, www.friendssupport.org.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

Best FRIENDS is a social playgroup for ages 5-14 years old. The groups purpose is to provide social and informational activities throughout the course of the year for both the children and their families. The children enjoy the fun activities, which are designed to enhance physical and social development.
Meet our hosts:
Christine Rittenhouse hosts Best FRIENDS Dunedin at Coastal Christian Church for ages 5-8 years old.
Barbie Feger hosts Pinellas FRIENDS in Largo at The Rec Center for youth ages.
Kathy Boisseau hosts Best FRIENDS in Brandon for ages 8-14 years old.

We encourage parents, grandparents, family members and friends to attend as well. Periodically, we bring speakers and educators in to discuss various topics that are helpful and keep our members up to date. Check our website for more information.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Families

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. hosts a fun dance for our adults, 15yrs and older, with free pizza and refreshments. The dances are offers our isolated adults a chance to socialize and get together with their peers. The dances are held monthly in Riverview and Clearwater. For more information call (813)245-2782.

Population(s) Served
Adults
People with intellectual disabilities

FRIENDS DOWN SYNDROME ESPANOLA - Bienvenido a la zona española de la Asociación FRIENDS Down Syndrom West Florida para el área de Pinellas, Tampa y Pasco.
La misión de F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Down Syndrome West Florida proporcionará servicios educativos y de apoyo que abarquen a todas las familias afectadas por el Síndrome de Down; al tiempo que promueve la integración completa de la comunidad de las personas afectadas por el síndrome de Down. En esta área, queremos compartir los artículos y la información sobre el Síndrome de Down. Esperamos que esta sección te sea útil. Gloria Ramirez 813-766-8061.

Population(s) Served

ZOOM PROGRAMS - Covid hit us hard, but we bounced right back with the help of ZOOM. Join us for these fun programs:

Sweating with Sunshine – Every other Monday on Zoom, Sweating with Sunshine (aka Heather Brudereck) an Occupational Therapist who also is a Bodybuilder and Swimsuit Competitor offers a fun half-hour workout. You will break a sweat and get your heart pumping! All ages & Abilities welcome.

Good Vibes – Every Tuesday night we get together with F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and hang out listening to Good Music, with Good FRIENDS, it's Good Vibes! See you soon!

Population(s) Served

DAD'S - Dad's Appreciating Down Syndrome - Dad's meet at Beef O' Brady's in Riverview. Check our website calendar for dates & times, www.friendssupport.org.

Population(s) Served

BUDDY WALK - In October, we celebrate our loved ones and National Down Syndrome Month with our annual F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Buddy Walk. It's an fun event with an Advocacy Walk, "family reunion" atmosphere. Medals, and awards are given to our awesome individuals and teams. The Buddy Walk is our largest fundraiser and the funds raise go toward our programs and supports. Check our website for more information, www.friendssupport.org.

Population(s) Served

Parents who receive a new diagnosis of Down syndrome or other special needs can receive a free F.R.I.E.N.D.S. PARENT RESOURCE TOTE BAG. It's a tote bag, full of information, from special needs resource vendors and service providers. The packets are available in English and Spanish.

A F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Resource Guidebook designed to provide parents with of all of the important contact information and resources that they may need.

Multiple brochures and pamphlets, from vendors around the Tampa Bay area, with special needs resources, partners we work with, and those who sell special needs products, and services.

For parents we include the informative book Babies with Down syndrome, A New Parents Guide by Susan J. Skallerup in English and Spanish versions.

For baby, we include a cute F.R.I.E.N.D.S. onesie and bib from Able United.

Population(s) Served

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. PARENT LIAISONS – We know all too well the seclusion and exhaustion that comes with raising a child with special needs. We offer in-person and phone support for those who are in need's information, advice, or just someone to talk to. We are available 24/7, (813)245-2782, [email protected].

Population(s) Served
Families
People with intellectual disabilities
Families
People with intellectual disabilities
Families
People with intellectual disabilities
Families
People with intellectual disabilities
Families
People with intellectual disabilities
Families
People with intellectual disabilities
Families
People with intellectual disabilities

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

National Down Syndrome Society 2021

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of free participants on field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Infants and toddlers

Related Program

Baby Friends

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

BABY FRIENDS - A free play/support group for parents with children birth to 5yrs.

Number of requests for advocate products or information, including downloads or page views of online material

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Infants and toddlers

Related Program

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. PARENT RESOURCE TOTE BAG

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

FRIENDS PARENT PACKETS A tote bag full of special needs resource information, brochures, and flyers.

Number of individuals attending community events or trainings

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families

Related Program

Friends Social Club (FSC)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Picnics, Social outings, Buddy Walk (our Buddy Walk for 2023 has approximately 1, 000 attendees).

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families

Related Program

Friends Social Club (FSC)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Student and adult volunteers from local high schools and colleges helped with our monthly Dances, Socials, and Buddy Walk.

Number of children with disabilities receiving early intervention services

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families

Related Program

Baby Friends

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

FRIENDS PROGRAMS Baby F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Best FRIENDS Adult Special Needs Dances Good Vibes Zoom WDSD Picnic Halloween Dances Buddy Walk Christmas Parties & Dances

Number of individuals attending briefings and presentations

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Family Support meetings & webinars

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our short term goals are to change of the lives of those impacted by Down syndrome, to give parents updated and correct information, to offer monthly support groups for families, to provide education about Down Syndrome.

We offer Baby Friends for birth to 5yrs to offer parents a chance to meet other parents, exchange information and feel accepted.

Best FRIENDS - Activities for our 6-14yr members each month.

Our FRIENDS Self-Advocates Club offers a monthly dance in Riverview and Clearwater. We provide our adults a safe, positive, environment where they can gather once a month with their friends.

We offer our families picnics, parties, and social outings/programs to come together to advocate for their loved ones.

Our long term goal is to open our own FRIENDS CENTER , a special needs center that will offer our current programs, educational programs, and life-skill enrichment to our members.

We partnered with local businesses and churches, The Barn in St. Pete, Largo Rec Center, and Coastal Christian Church to bring our Baby Friends and Best FRIENDS programs.
We have partnered with local hotels to host our adults special needs dances.
We raise money during our yearly Buddy Walk to fund these programs.
Fundraising through bake sales, car washes, etc.

In the future we will hire a grant writer to seek funding to open the FRIENDS CENTER.
We will continue seeking sponsors.

Continue to grow our volunteer base for fundraising; continue seeking and improving community relationships with local health organizations.

We have increased our programming 50% in the last year offering new programs for our families.

We have built a relationship with BayCare's Pediatric Residents and have developed a new program called Families as Teachers. This program will provide an educational experience for both the Pediatrician Resident and the family that they will be shadowing.

We provide yearly Lunch & Learn Presentations to healthcare providers and news stations. Next we will hire a grant writer to help fund our programs and center.

We have partnered with our City's Councilman, Councilman Viera for Down Syndrome and Special Needs advocacy. In turn, we had the opportunity to speak in from of Tampa's City Council and attend the inaugural Down Syndrome Awareness flag raising ceremony over Old City Hall in celebration for Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

We recently achieved advocating for World Down Syndrome Day. The City of Tampa will illuminate multiple landmarks around the city Blue & Yellow (DS awareness colors) to commemorate World Down Syndrome Day.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

FRIENDS DOWN SYNDROME WEST FLORIDA

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

FRIENDS DOWN SYNDROME WEST FLORIDA

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Documents
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

President/Executive Director

Ashley Odom

Families, Respect Inspire, Education, and Networking for Down Syndrome and Special Needs is a volunteer based, non-profit 501C3 organization. F.R.I.E.N.D.S. was founded in 2007 by parents of children with Down Syndrome, but are now "All Inclusive" and include all Special Needs individuals and families. With the help from friends, professionals, volunteers, and supporters, we serve Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco counties. We are governed by a Board of Directors and Advisory Board. Our Motto is "I can and I will" and together we can become the leading voice for Down Syndrome in the West Florida area. Thank you for supporting F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and our Special Needs community.

FRIENDS DOWN SYNDROME WEST FLORIDA

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Compensation
Other
Related
Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

FRIENDS DOWN SYNDROME WEST FLORIDA

Board of directors
as of 02/29/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board co-chair

Ashley Odom

FRIENDS DOWN SYNDROME SPECIAL NEEDS - WEST FLORIDA

Term: 2024 - 2026


Board co-chair

Rebecca Rouco

FRIENDS DOWN SYNDROME SPECIAL NEEDS - WEST FLORIDA

Term: 2024 - 2026

Ashley Odom

President/Executive Director

Lori Boldt

Treasurer

Cassidy Rosa

Secretary

Rebecca Rouco

Vice President

Michael McManus

Board Member

Michael Norton

Board Member

Suzzann Cantrell

Board Member

Stephen Cantrell

Board Member

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No