John Cronin, Co-founder and Chief Happiness Officer at John's Crazy Socks, travelled to GiGi’s Playhouse Long Island to lead a sock design party. John and his father, Mark X Cronin, brought the sock templates, GiGi’s Playhouse provided the crayons and the space and the artists brought their enthusiasm and creativity.
“I loved seeing all these children creating beautiful sock designs,” said John.
Elizabeth Rahne, the Program Director at GiGi’s Playhouse Long Island, smiled as she watched the participants busily draw their designs. “This is so much fun and our students are so engaged.”
John’s Crazy Socks and GiGi’s Playhouse
John and John’s Crazy Socks have long been supporters of GiGi’s Playhouse on Long Island and elsewhere. John participates in some of the programs at GiGi’s Playhouse Long Island and always comes back looking for more.
“GiGi’s Playhouse offers fun things to do and a way to meet people,” said John.
John’s Crazy Socks has donated money and gifts for auctions and raffles, met with program participants, attended and supported fundraising galas and spoken at GiGi Playhouse events near and far. Last fall, John visited the GiGi’s Playhouse in Fargo, North Dakota, earlier this summer, John and Mark spoke at event for a new location in Portland, Oregon and later this month will visit the GiGi’s Playhouse Scottsdale, Arizona.
Mark X. Cronin, John’s partner and father, said, “We stand in awe at what GiGi’s Playhouse has built. Their community centers offer so much: social gatherings, learning opportunities, career development, networking for parents and more, all serving people with Down syndrome across the country. We count ourselves as fortunate to support the difference they make in the community.”
Designing Socks for World Down Syndrome Day
To celebrate World Down Syndrome Day (March 21), people wear crazy socks. For World Down Syndrome Day 2024, John’s Crazy Socks is working with Down Syndrome International and the National Down Syndrome Society to create socks for World Down Syndrome Day 2024. These socks will celebrate people with Down Syndrome and raise money for Down Syndrome International (DSi) and the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS).
“I am so happy that we are making the official socks for World Down Syndrome Day,” said John. John is not only the co-founder of the world’s largest sock store, but John happens to have Down syndrome. “I am so happy that we are making these socks for people around the United States and the world to celebrate people with Down syndrome.”
Andrew Boys, Executive Director of Down Syndrome International, said, “We are excited to work with John’s Crazy Socks, a company started and led by a man with Down syndrome, to make socks for World Down Syndrome Day.”
A Sock Design Contest to Create Socks for World Down Syndrome Day
John’s Crazy Socks is tapping into the talent of people with Down syndrome by asking them to design the socks for World Down Syndrome Day 2024. John’s Crazy Socks, supported by DSi and the NDSS, has organized a sock design contest where people with Down syndrome and their families can submit designs. A panel of judges from the three organizations will select the winning design and that will become the Official Sock of World Down Syndrome Day 2024.
“This is so great. The socks for World Down Syndrome Day will be designed by a person with Down syndrome,” said John Cronin.
The event at GiGi’s Playhouse Long Island let the participants design socks and enter the contest.
World Down Syndrome Day
Back in 2011, the United Nations established March 21 as World Down Syndrome Day. Why March 21? Down syndrome is caused by having a little bit extra. All of us humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, people with Down syndrome have an extra 21st chromosome. Thus, World Down Syndrome Day takes place on the 21st day of the third month.
It is a day to celebrate people with Down syndrome. All around the world, people hold events, parties, and conferences to champion people with Down syndrome. Down Syndrome International organizes World Down Syndrome Day.
Crazy Socks and World Down Syndrome Day
Why do people wear socks to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day? Talk to different people and you get different answers. Some say it is because chromosomes when viewed under a high-powered microscope look like socks. Some say it is because bright, colorful socks reflect the joy and spirit of people with Down syndrome. Some say it is because crazy socks reflect the individuality of people with Down syndrome. All three sound like good reasons to us.
Down Syndrome Awareness Socks
John Cronin designed and created the world’s first Down Syndrome Awareness Socks in 2017. Since that time, John has designed many new Down syndrome-themed socks and products, including throw blankets, so that John’s Crazy Socks now has a full line of Down Syndrome Awareness products. John’s favorite socks are the Down Syndrome Superhero Socks. Come holiday time, John’s Crazy Socks creates a holiday Down Syndrome Super Box that has products made by companies led by or employing people with Down syndrome.
We donate money from the sale of those socks and products to the National Down Syndrome Society.
About GiGi’s Playhouse
GiGi’s Playhouse is a nationwide network of Down syndrome achievement centers. GiGi’s Playhouse was founded by GiGi’s mom, Nancy Gianni, in Hoffman Estates, Illinois in 2002. It has now grown to 57 locations throughout the United States and Mexico and serves families in 71 countries. GiGi’s offers over 50 different therapeutic, educational, and career development programs for individuals with Down syndrome of all ages, their families, and the community. The organization is 99% volunteer-run, and all programs are 100% free to families. From prenatal diagnosis through career skills, GiGi’s Playhouse makes a lifetime commitment to families. With over 200,000 free program participation hours annually, GiGi’s Playhouse helps participants thrive through building educational, developmental, fitness, fine and gross motor, social-emotional, and speech and language skills.
For more information about free programs, volunteerism, impact partnerships, events, and many ways to support GiGi’s Playhouse families: please visit www.GiGisplayhouse.org.
GiGi’s Playhouse Long Island is located at 100 Austin Street, Suite 3, Patchogue, NY 11772. To learn more about GiGi’s Playhouse – Long Island, visit their website at https://GiGisplayhouse.org/longisland or call them at (631) 438-1153.
About John’s Crazy Socks
John’s Crazy Socks was inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks—what he calls his “crazy socks.” He and his father, Mark X. Cronin, started the company as a social enterprise with a mission of Spreading Happiness™. With more than 4,000 socks, John’s Crazy Socks is now the world’s largest sock store. More than half their employees have a differing ability, and their Giving Back program has raised over $630,000 for charity partners like the Special Olympics, the National Down Syndrome Society, and the Autism Society of America. Most of all, they are Spreading Happiness™.
For more information about John’s Crazy Socks, visit our webpage, Facebook page, Instagram account, TikTok or YouTube channel. You can also contact us at 631-760-5625 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.