Quiéreme Como Soy events started in 2010 in order to demonstrate to Dominican society that unity is strength, creating a space where all, including spectators and participants, share the same feelings of an inclusive society by creating an event of great human value, which has remained in force for several years and where more than 45,000 people have participated and identified with our message of inclusion and acceptance.
The annual event of Quiéreme Como Soy has since its inception been supported by Dominican and foreign sponsors such as, Viamar, Ford Motor Company, Banco Popular, ARS Humano, Leche Kanny, Sociedad Industrial Dominicana, Texaco, Shell, Corporación Zona Franca Santiago, Bepensa , Pinturas Tucán, Tricom, Manuel Arsenio Urena, and Tropigas, among many others.
Moreover, we have always had the support of the most important print media, radio and television of the Domincan Republic, including the Corripio Communications Group, Group Listin Diario, the Omnimedia Group, and Multimedios del Caribe, who along with channels 15, 25, 29, 55 Antena Latina, CDN, Color Vision, CTN Media Group Altera, Tricom, Wind, Radio Cadena Comercial, Medran Group, have always understood the importance and need for an inclusive country.
Our first event on Sunday November 14, 2010 was held at the Sports Palace with the participation of more than 4,000 people where the national basketball team of the Special Olympics participated in a friendly exhibition match with celebrities of our country resulting in an unprecedented event in our history, marking a before and after in the process of awareness and inclusion under the slogan of YES WE CAN, and that we must give real opportunities to people with special cognitive and learning needs.
Proceeds from that event were donated to the Dominican Association of Downs Syndrome (ADOSID) for remodeling our residence in Gazcue, and to the Organization of Special Olympics Dominican Republic so that they could take their athletes to the Special Olympics in Athens in the summer of 2011.
The 2011 event took the form of a baseball game at Quisqueya Stadium which had the support of LIDOM and Los Leones del Escogido baseball team, being the second event of Love Me As I am with the participation of over 12,000 people. In this event children and youth with special needs played baseball with MLB players like David Ortiz, Juan Marichal, Pedro Martinez, Vladimir Guerrero, Jose Bautista, and celebrities of Dominican society. The amount collected was donated to the Dominican Association of Downs Syndrome (ADOSID) to continue the expansion of the educational establishment, and the Foundation for Autism Manos Unidas to build a facility. Both organizations work for the benefit of children and youth with special cognitive and learning needs.
Our third event on Sunday November 18, 2012 was held again at the Quisqueya Stadium with the support of LIDOM, where more than 14,000 people gathered to say “Love me as I am, as I love you”, where children and youth with special needs played baseball with players from MLB and Dominican celebrities who returned home to support this initiative. Donations of that year were aimed at three entities: The Dominican Association of Downs Syndrome (ADOSID), Manos Unidas Foundation for Autism, and The Special Education Center Catalina St. Augustine.
Love Me As I Am Foundation aims to bring its message of inclusion to all the Dominican Republic, which is why in 2013, in its fourth event through the city of Santiago, we took our message of inclusion and humanization to the entire northern region of the Dominican Republic, which is Cibao, through our Season of Love and Affection, held on Sunday December 1, 2013 attracting more than 22,000 people.
On that occasion with the baseball team The Cibao Eagles, and with LIDOM, they opened for us the doors of its headquarters, and wanted to give a special recognition to the baseball team Campeón del Clásico Mundial in the city of Santiago. Funds raised during this activity were allocated to four institutions who devote all their efforts on behalf of people with special needs: the Dominican Association of Downs Syndrome, Manos Unidas for Autism, Light & Hope Foundation for Autism, and Friends of Downs Syndrome.
Love Me As I Am officially began our Season of Love and Affection on 15 and 16 November, 2014 in the city of La Romana. In the Altos de Chavon amphitheater on Saturday, November 15 at 8pm, a concert with the Colombian singer Juanes took place, and as a tradition, on Sunday 16 a special “Love me as I am” ballgame was held at the Francisco Micheli Stadium.
“Quiéreme Como Soy”, or in English, “Love Me as I Am”, has become a countrywide slogan and project thanks to the solidarity of the Dominican people.
Having successfully completed the activity in the north in 2013, it was considered important to work in the eastern region for 2014, and continue to cultivate the values of acceptance and inclusion in different areas of our nation.