We have just passed the halfway point at Day 50 of 99 Days to FASDay! I hope you are enjoying and learning from the tips, quotes and stats shared so far – and with 49 more days to go there is a lot more to cover.
When I decided to do this 99 day journey I didn’t realize how much information in some areas is available, and how little information in other areas is available. I also discovered a lot of really excellent information is copyrighted and so have not been able to share as much as I had hoped. And although I live in Canada, I have tried to share information from many sources.
I was going to wait until September 9 to share the story of FASDay, but then thought if people wanted to be inspired and organize something (no matter how small or large) planning time was required. So I figured the halfway point would be a good time to do that. There is still 7 weeks to go! Please feel free to share in the comments below what you are doing, any ideas you have or information you’d like to share! I will update the page if necessary leading up to September 9, 2017. Let’s make this the biggest International FASD Awareness Day yet!
So, exactly what is FASDay?
International FASD Awareness Day provides a focussed opportunity for individuals, groups and communities to raise awareness about FASD, to pause, to reflect and to share a message of an alcohol-free pregnancy and prevention across the world.
Did you realize FASDay has been around for almost 20 years?
It all started one wintry day, when Bonnie Buxton and her husband Brian Philcox were digging out their cars from a great Toronto (Ontario, Canada) snowstorm.
Buxton said, “What if, on the 9th minute of the 9th hour of the 9th day of the 9th month of the year 1999, we asked the world to remember that during the 9 months of pregnancy, a woman should remain alcohol free?
And, what if we also asked the world to remember those millions of people who will never fulfill their genetic potential, because of prenatal alcohol exposure? At this magic minute in history, could we begin to change the world?”
In One Magic Minute, Buxton, her husband and Teresa Kellerman changed the World when Australia 🇦🇺, Germany 🇩🇪 , Italy 🇮🇹 , South Africa 🇿🇦 , Sweden 🇸🇪 , and the United States of America 🇺🇸 joined Canada 🇨🇦 for the first International FAS Awareness Day: 1999/9/9 9:09 am.
You can find the story of its creation on the FASDay website, with ideas on how to recognize the date. Although the site has not been updated for a few years (which is too bad) the ideas are still relevant.
In 2014 every province and territory in Canada, most states and DC in the USA, along with Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, Ireland, Northern Ireland, U.K., France, Netherlands, Germany, Lichtenstein, Uruguay, Japan and Taiwan participated. In fact, in 2014 over 42 countries observed FASDay in every time zone around the world.
Check out FASWORLD The website for Bonnie Buxton and Brian Philcox.
You can also check out Live Abilities by Jodee Kulp which has 60 Days of Ideas.
FASD Ontario has suggested social media graphics and a timeline (from 2016 but still relevant).
On September 9, CanFASD is asking you to use the hashtags #FASDay2017 and #CanFASD so you can share how you are spreading awareness.
NOFASD Australia has information on their website for 2017 and is encouraging people to share their activities.
NOFAS (National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) in the USA has an information package on their website.
Another international campaign called Red Shoes Rock to Stop FASD asks people to wear red shoes to raise awareness. This grassroots group has free artwork you can use in your social media or even to create a personalized t-shirt.
Why Red Shoes?
Because Red Shoes are noticeable. Red Shoes are fun. Red Shoes open up the conversation to tell our story or share insight that is needed at the moment. And so I wear my Red Shoes when I am going into difficult places, and I can just say,
“You see my RED SHOES? Well, those shoes remind me of the needs of FASD, that’s prenatal exposure to alcohol. They remind me that right now the PERSON I LOVE needs support and space and time to regroup. It reminds me right now that I WILL PROTECT that person.”
Calling all those living in Ontario (Canada)
Let’s get ready to ROCK in London, Ontario. No matter where you are in Ontario (or even further if you would like to join us), make the drive and come join us as we have a great event planned.
Gather your support groups and let’s make this event one of the biggest FASD events in Ontario yet! We can do this…we have to do this..NOW is the time to get on our RED SHOES and ROCK our province! Click for here more information.
International Awareness Available in Different Languages
If you are looking for an international awareness campaign with promotional materials available in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, German, Japanese, Slovenian, Polish, Czech or Turkish, visit Too Young To Drink. Although the website has not yet posted activities for 2017, the graphics and information are still relevant.
Social Media Thunderclap
Apparently I’m behind the times because it seems this is a thing…I had no idea. But now I know, I signed up for this unique way for people to join together to get the message out around the world called a Thunderclap . You can have a message shared automatically via Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr once you sign up. So click the Thunderclap link above so we can share the message across the world.
So what will you be doing September 9, 2017 at 9:09 a.m.?
Last year I had an amazing 9 day journey. I put on my red sneakers in Ontario on September 1 and arrived in B.C. on September 9. I traveled through 5 provinces and 4 time zones wearing my red shoes and sharing my journey across Canada.
I’m still pondering an idea for this September 1-9, which is usually when I complete my Red Shoes Rock participation. Stay tuned for more details!
I’d love to hear what others are planning! Please comment below.