Most of you may not know this but October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month! I love October with the changing of the leaves, the smell of the cool crisp air, pumpkins and hayrides, and celebrating the end of the month with our neighborhood trick-or-treating on Halloween.
It’s the perfect way to say goodbye to summer and hello to my old friend, fall, whom I haven’t seen in a while. It’s like slipping on my favorite pair of slippers, warming myself with some hot apple cider and sitting down with a life long friend to reminisce and laugh about the good and sometimes the not so good times that we affectionately call this wonderful life. That’s how fall feels to me.
Which is why I think it’s the perfect time to remind ourselves and others the wonders of Spina Bifida. Before we head into the month of thanksgiving, October is a great month to celebrate our differences and bring awareness to the uniqueness in all of us. Not only is October Spina Bifida Awareness Month, but it’s also Down Syndrome Awareness Month and Disability Awareness Month.
So what are some ways that you can bring awareness to your community about Spina Bifida and cultivate a community of acceptance for those living with Spina Bifida?
Here are 10 ways to promote awareness in your community. Hopefully, this will spur some ideas of your own. Be sure to share them with us at the end of this post!
1. Share Facebook Memes from Spina Bifida Association
So, this is the easiest (and personally my favorite) way to promote Spina Bifida awareness. Share Facebook memes from the Spina Bifida Association’s page. Or maybe you follow another Spina Bifida group that you could share their memes on your own Facebook page. It’s a great way to reach a large number of people to share interesting facts about Spina Bifida. You could also make your own memes to show how Spina Bifida has affected your child.
2. Coordinate a School (or Workplace) Spina Bifida Awareness Day
Talk with your child’s school about having a special day to promote Spina Bifida. Have a pajama day, or wear two different types of shoes, or everyone wears teal or yellow. Spina Bifida’s ribbon color is yellow so you could also give out yellow ribbons for your child’s class. See if your child could talk to his or her class on that day to explain what Spina Bifida means and how it affects them. If your Spina Bifida child is too young for school, maybe big brother or sister would be excited to have a show and tell day. They could even read a book to the class to explain what Spina Bifida is.
Participate in a Walk-N-Roll in your area.This is Spina Bifida Associations biggest fundraiser for community programs and national research, education and support.* If you don’t have one nearby, you can create your own! You can register for My Walk-N-Roll for Spina Bifida and learn more about creating a special day in your community. Invite friends, family, and neighbors to join your team and have a fun time supporting a great cause.
4. Set Up a Display at Your Local Library
This doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It could be a printout of a picture of your child with some interesting facts about Spina Bifida and fun facts about your child’s likes and favorite things to do. This is a great way of making it personable and more interesting to others when learning about a condition they know nothing about.
5. Join Team Spina Bifida
If your passion is running, cycling, competing in marathons or other athletic events, consider joining Team Spina Bifida to raise awareness and funds for Spina Bifida. You can choose your own event and the minimum amount of money you want to fundraise. In return, they will provide you a Team Spina Bifida shirt and some other cool goodies to make your event a success.
6. Share Your Story!
Don’t forget the best way of promoting Spina Bifida awareness is by sharing YOUR story. Share on your choice of social media platform. You can also email Spina Bifida Association at firstname.lastname@example.org and you may find your story on their website or social platform.
7. Coordinate a Spina Bifida Awareness Fundraising Event
Have a bake sale or a lemonade stand. This would be a great opportunity to team up with another family who wants to promote the disability their family is experiencing as well. You could set up a booth outside of your favorite store to sell some baked goods and promote that all proceeds are going to your local Spina Bifida chapter. Make sure to include a small handout or card explaining what Spina Bifida is. Or if you want to start out small, start one in your own neighborhood! It would be a great way to meet your neighbors while enjoying the cooler temps!
8. Team Up with a Group that is Advocating Disability Awareness Month
In our little town, this time each year an insurance agent and his team puts on a Disability Awareness Day by providing a meal, a small pumpkin patch, pumpkin painting, and games. It’s open to everyone and it’s been growing the past three years. Find someone in your area that you could team up with and promote Spina Bifida Awareness Month.
9. Donate Books to Your Hospital for NICU or PICU Kiddos
Check with your local bookstore to see if they would be interested in donating some books to the sick children in your local hospital or the hospital where your child is treated for Spina Bifida. If you’re having a hard time finding a place that will donate books, you could donate a book or two to your child’s doctor’s office or dentist office. Make some sticker labels to stick to the inside and say something like “Spina Bifida Awareness Month is October. Spread kindness everywhere!” If you’re looking for a book to share, this one would be a good one.
10. Spread Kindness and Your Message
Pay for the meal behind you in the drive-through and leave a card about October being Spina Bifida Awareness Month. Who says you have to wait until Christmas to spread kindness to others? Leave a gift card (or some chocolate!) for the postman in your mailbox with a card about Spina Bifida Awareness Month. Give something small to your child’s bus driver like a bottle of water, a pack of gum, or even a hand drawn picture from your child. Tell them thank you for their service and mention that you are celebrating Spina Bifida Awareness Month.
Hopefully, you have been inspired to take action to bring about Spina Bifida awareness even if it’s in a small way. This is a great month to celebrate our differences and by sharing may we all realize being unique is what makes life exciting and beautiful. Because how boring it would be if we were all the same?!
Don’t forget to share your ideas of promoting Spina Bifida Awareness Month. I’d love to hear them!
If you would like to leave a personal message, contact me and let’s chat!