May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month and throughout the U.S., people “turn it teal” to show their support for those with asthma and food allergies.
The month-long initiative also includes Food Allergy Awareness Week, which kicks off May 10-16. It’s one of my favorite times of the year as a food allergy advocate and peanut allergy mom because I love sharing and educating people about a topic that is very close to our hearts and so critically misunderstood.
7 Ways to Celebrate Food Allergy Awareness Month
From fundraisers to food allergy awareness products, here’s a few of the ways you can participate in the annual movement.
1. Host a Fundraiser for Food Allergy Awareness Month
Anyone can host a fundraiser for food allergy awareness, and there’s a number of organizations that can help you get started.
Both FARE and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America are great resources when It comes to fundraisers.
However, if hosting an event isn’t your thing, they also make it easy to donate or join an existing fundraiser.
2. Turn Your Passions and Interests into Action for FARE
Team FARE is a grassroots fundraising program that allows volunteers across the country to turn their passions and interests into action by creating unique events that raise funds for FARE in support of its mission. Through the group’s do-it-yourself fundraising website, FARE fundraisers create their own events to raise critical funds and awareness.
Team FARE volunteers have developed diverse fundraisers including athletic challenges, artistic events, educational activities, lemonade stands, birthday parties, dance offs and more.
Did you know… More than 60 million Americans overall have asthma and allergies. About 32 million Americans have food allergies (26 million adults and 6 million children). Every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the hospital. Food Allergy Awareness Week is an opportunity to share and educate people about food allergies and to inspire them to support the food allergy community.
3. Participate in a Food Allergy Walk
Every year, FARE Hometown Heroes Community Walk events are held across the country to raise money for research, education and advocacy. You can lead your own Hometown Heroes team, join a walk near you, or make a donation on their website.
4. Know the Warning Signs and Learn How to Use an Auto-Injector
Food allergy awareness and management starts with each of us. Learn to spot the warning signs of anaphylaxis, which can include swelling of the lips and hives and skin rash.
You want to know how to use an epinephrine pen or auto-injector comfortably before you ever need to use it in a stressful situation.
Also it’s important to ensure your prescriptions are all current and in good condition.
5. Turn it Teal for Food Allergy Awareness Month
One of the coolest things about food allergy awareness week are the #turnitteal lightings across the U.S. In recent years, cities across the globe have participated in lighting events honoring Food Allergy Awareness Week.
Wells Fargo’s Duke Energy Building will #turnitteal on May 10 in Charlotte, NC – about 35 minutes south of us – to recognize Food Allergy Awareness Week. Look for areas in your local community that might have teal lightings scheduled this month.
6. Dye Your Hair Teal
Want to make a bold statement that shows your support for food allergies? Dye your hair (even a strand)! It might be a challenge depending on your work, school and family obligations. Many salons across the country offer specials on blue/teal extensions or will dye a strand for you.
7. Display the Teal Ribbons
The simplest way to celebrate Food Allergy Awareness Week and show support is by wearing and displaying a teal ribbon – the global symbol of food allergy awareness.
Add a Facebook profile frame and display food allergy awareness products, such as t-shirts, ribbons and jewelry, to show your support.
8. Download, Print and Share Food Allergy Awareness Posters
You can promote food allergy awareness for free by downloading, printing and sharing posters with others. The posters below are great starting points for conversation and great resources for teaching others about food allergies.
Download the images by placing your cursor over the graphics, right click and select ‘Save Image As…’
Image credit: FARE / foodallergy.org
Educate and Inspire People About Food Allergies
Whether you’re making a donation or displaying the teal ribbon to show support, there’s no right or wrong way to celebrate Food Allergy Awareness Week.
As long as you’re showing support for those with food allergies, you are doing your part.
I’d love to hear how you celebrate Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month and Food Allergy Week. Feel free to comment below or connect with me on my Facebook page.