Southern Arizona Network for Down Syndrome (SANDS)

We are SANDS

SANDS seeks to inspire, educate and support individuals, families and communities living with Down syndrome throughout Southern Arizona.

SANDS pursues this goal by creating an open, supportive, and collaborative network connecting individuals and families with needed resources and information.

Our mission: To improve and enrich the lives of individuals with Down syndrome and to promote public awareness.

Learn More

What We're All About At SANDS

Our goals, missions, and objectives all work towards the advancement and enrichment of the lives of individuals with Down syndrome.

Our Mission

Southern Arizona Network for Down Syndrome (SANDS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to being the primary source of information and support for individuals with Down syndrome in southern Arizona, working towards an improved quality of life and respect as valued members of society.
Learn More

Our Purpose

SANDS focuses its efforts on connecting individuals and their families with needed services and resources, advocating locally and nationally, and raising public awareness.  SANDS is volunteer driven and fully funded through donations, and local and national fundraising events.
Learn More


SANDS seeks to inspire, educate and support families and communities living with Down syndrome throughout Southern Arizona.
Learn More

Have any questions? Call us now!


Our Services

New Parent Services

SANDS strives to provide support to all of the families in Southern Arizona of loved ones with Down syndrome.
View details

Grants & Scholarships

Programs to provide a medium by which SANDS can give back some of the funds it raises directly to individuals with Down syndrome and their families.
View details

Education Services

SANDS pushes to educate individuals, families, and communities about Down syndrome from preferred language to facts, and various publications.
View details

Local Support Groups

SANDS is committed to providing encouragement and support to families who have family members with Down syndrome through local support groups.
View details

Contact SANDS

Contact us today with any questions or comments you have.

Meet Our Dedicated Board of Directors


Sharon Callaway

Karen Poppe
(nephew, Quinn)

Chad McKinley

Heidi LeBlanc
(son, Jack)

Jonathan “Jay” Rivera
(Daughter, Madison)

Real Results. True Testimonials.

Loading Events

Events Search and Views Navigation

Find Events

Event Views Navigation

Events Search

October 2018

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Presentation

October 6 @ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Himmel Park Library, 1035 N Treat Ave
Tucson, AZ 85716
+ Google Map

Millions of individuals with disabilities and their families depend on a wide variety of public benefits for income, health care, and food and housing assistance, but these individuals are ineligible for benefits if they have more than $2,000 cash savings and retirement funds. However, the ABLE Act recognizes the significant costs of disability, including raising a child with significant disabilities, and the costs of accessible housing and transportation, personal assistance services, and assistive technology. Furthermore, many caregivers worry about providing for the future of their children with disabilities.

The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (H.R. 647), a bipartisan bill passed on December 19, 2014, amends the federal tax code to allow Section 529 tax-exempt savings accounts for disability-related expenses. This allows earnings to grow tax deferred and account owners the ability to withdraw earnings to use toward qualified disability expenses. Account contributions are limited to $15,000 per year; however, beneficiaries who are employed can potentially have a higher yearly contribution limit of up to $27,060 due to the newly passed ABLE to Work Act. Assets in your account do not affect eligibility for federal or Arizona means-tested benefits programs like SSI or Medicaid. ABLE Accounts are structurally like 529 accounts, in terms of tax advantages, online use, and investment options, but they have the transactional capabilities of a checking account and the benefits protections of a Special Needs Trust.

Find out more »

Dreamnight at the Zoo

October 12 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N Kinney Rd
Tucson, AZ 85743
+ Google Map

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is pleased to once again participate in the international event entitled Dreamnight at the Zoo (Friday, October 12, 2018 from 6pm – 9pm).  This event was started in 1996 by the Rotterdam Zoo and has since spread to zoos around the world.  The purpose of the event is to open our grounds to special needs children, or children who are chronically ill and provide them with an evening of fun away from the public eye. We…

Find out more »

Buddy Walk Committee Meeting

October 15 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)
3rd Monday of the months of April to October
Native Grill & Wings, 3100 E Speedway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85716
+ Google Map

The Tucson Buddy Walk is the primary fundraiser and awareness-building event for the Southern Arizona Network for Down Syndrome (SANDS).  The Tucson Buddy Walk is an extended family picnic for the entire community that features exhibits, food, entertainment, a raffle and silent auction.  Although the Tucson Buddy Walk is less than one mile, it is the largest walk of its kind in Southern Arizona and anyone can participate without special training. SANDS is looking for people who want to be…

Find out more »

November 2018

Tucson Buddy Walk

November 4 @ 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
DeMeester Bandshell at Reid Park, Country Club, between Broadway & 22nd
Tucson, AZ 85716
+ Google Map

Register your team for Tucson Buddy Walk at:

Find out more »

March 2019

World Down Syndrome Day

March 21, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Find out more »

April 2019

Tuesdays for Tucson at La Cocina

April 23, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
La Cocina, 201 N Court Ave
Tucson, AZ 85701
+ Google Map

Come join us for a restaurant percentage night at La Cocina!  10% of all food and drink purchases go directly to supporting the Down syndrome community in southern Arizona.  There will be a live band, and raffle items.

Find out more »
+ Export Events