Every child loves toys.
Think about Christmas morning, when everyone rushes to the tree to open all of their toys. In the months leading up to the exciting event, most of the toys that will be added to Christmas wish-lists can likely be found in Target’s annual toy catalog. For most people, this year will be no different.
But for Erin Statz, the Target toy catalog had the only gift she needed.
Erin’s son Ronin has Down syndrome. He’s two years old, and like any child his age, Ronin loves everything about toys, life, and mom and dad. Erin and her husband have always been concerned about society feeling bad for Ronin because of his Down syndrome. So you can imagine her joy when Erin opened this year’s toy catalog to see her son featured as one of the kid models.
Down syndrome effects one in every 619 babies every year in the United States, but unfortunately we don’t tend to see those kiddos being featured as regular, happy and lively kids. Target is changing that.
Flooded with emotion, Erin wrote a “Thank You” letter to Target and it is sweeping the Internet.
When my son Ronin was born with Down syndrome two years ago, we were shocked and scared but also saddened. Not saddened by the fact he had Down syndrome but by how we knew society would view him. What would his future be like?
So today, I never imagined my son would be featured in your advertisement three times, with the latest being in your annual Toy book! You CHOSE to feature two children with Down syndrome and one child in a wheelchair in this year’s toy book and it’s awesome! By featuring my son in your advertising, you are showing society that all people matter and all people should be treated like everyone else. And I can show the world that Down syndrome isn’t scary, the possibilities are endless, and most importantly my son and our family are not suffering. Ronin is the blessing I never knew I needed. How did I get so lucky?
Cheers to you Target for leading the way in this important mission. I hope many more companies and most importantly people will make inclusion happen and make it stay!”
This is the third time Ronin has been featured in Target advertising.
Erin shared the letter on Social Media, and the response has been overwhelming. Other mothers of children with Down syndrome who were featured in the catalog or other advertising for Target have also shared their stories: