For my birthday, I want to revive this birthday tradition.


Today’s my birthday – I turn 46 today.

To celebrate, I’m taking the afternoon off work and going to see the Star Wars premiere with Jen and the boys.

But I want to celebrate it a little different with y’all, and so I’m going to revive an old birthday tradition from the Deep South:

Pinning Dollars on Someone on their Birthday.


Now, some will say that it started in New Orleans, others that it comes from European or African traditions.

But I learned it from  friends in the African-American community when I lived in Tyler, Texas, some 20 years ago.

I used to know the story behind it, too, but have long since forgotten.

If anyone remembers the story about how this tradition developed, and the meaning behind it, please post it in the comments.

But here’s the tradition as  I remember it.



Here’s how it works:

On someone’s birthday, pin a dollar (or any amount really) onto the person’s shirt.

That’s it, it’s that simple.

But  I’m in Little Rock, Arkansas, you’re probably not, and most of you won’t see me today.

So it gets a little complicated.

So what can you do?

Well, you can “pin a buck” by making a small donation – $5, $10, $20, or whatever you can – to the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) at this link:

Click here to “Pin-A-Buck” on NDSS

Why the NDSS?

One reason. This guy:

National Down Syndrome Society

My little man has a diagnosis that much of the world still doesn’t understand: Down Syndrome.

* He’s not allowed to work or save as much money as he wants – without giving up the Medicaid that pays for his much needed 12 hours of weekly physical and speech therapy.

*Employers will ban him from working for them because they think he’s not smart enough, strong enough, etc.

National Down Syndrome Society #GivingTuesday Arkansas

* He’ll face rampant discrimination in schools – pushed out of classrooms with his peers because people  are afraid of how he looks or talks.

* He’ll be barred from participating in some sports – and competing in sports events.

The NDSS is the nation’s largest human and civil rights organization for people with a Down Syndrome diagnosis.

Every day, the NDSS is working to raise awareness of Down Syndrome and pass state and federal legislation which will improve my son’s chances in life – not to mention the chances of millions of kids like him

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