Rick Smith, the founder and Executive Director of Hope Story, is a man of great exuberance and love, so when he came to visit John’s Crazy Socks, he did not come by himself, he brought his whole family. In particular, he wanted his eldest son Noah, who has Down syndrome, to spend time with John and see the work done at John’s Crazy Socks. Of course, John and Noah became fast friends.
Hope Story is a non-profit based in Texas that has a mission to give support, encouragement and hope to parents whose child has received a Down syndrome diagnosis. As part of that mission, Hope Story provides free resources to the medical community to help doctors deliver a Down syndrome diagnosis and support families. Hope Story also works to help parents of children born with Down syndrome use their story to bring hope to others.
The Smith and Cronin Families: Two Families with Children with Down Syndrome
Some eleven years ago, Rick and Abbie Smith had their first child Noah. Like all new parents, Rick and Abbie adored their first born though not was all perfect. Noah was born with Down syndrome and that was not the problem, the problem was the reaction of the medical staff and many others who did not know how to support a family with a newborn child with Down syndrome. Rick and Abbie felt alone.
Rick wanted to change this situation. He wanted families with a newborn with Down syndrome who came after him to have a better world. Thus, he created Hope Story.
John’s parents, Mark and Carol Cronin, understand the Smith’s situation. The doctor who informed them that John had Down syndrome prefaced her words by saying, “I am so sorry.”
As Mark has related, “I said what do you mean. There is no apology, this is our son, our boy.”
Later, a cardiologist who treated John said matter-of-factly, “You know, they try to save these babies nowadays.” Carol and Mark were shocked.
Like Rick Smith, John’s parents worked to change this situation. At first, they volunteered to speak with other families that had a newborn with Down syndrome. Carol volunteered as a parent advocate in the schools. And their support for John led John and Mark to create John’s Crazy Socks.
John and Mark first met Rick at the New York City Buddy Walk for the National Down Syndrome Society in 2019. Since then, they have been fast friends and collaborators. John’s Crazy Socks has made custom socks for Hope Story that the organization uses for fundraising purposes.
About Hope Story
You can learn more about Hope Story by visiting their website. When you learn about their mission, support them by volunteering and becoming a Hope Advocate or donating to their cause. You can also follow them on Facebook.
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™. They do this by offering socks people can love that allows an expression of one’s true self. More than half their employees have a differing ability, and their Giving Back program has raised over $500,000 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 or YouTube channel. You can also contact us at 631-760-5625 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.