Day 50 of 99 Days: The birth of FASDay

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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. Feel free to comment on any of the posts if you have information from your own country to share – as I update and revise the posts to keep them current. If you notice one has been missed and needs updating, please let us know. And as always, we have attempted to use only reputable sources for information. Always do your own research and talk to professionals.

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! Feel free to share in the comments below what you are doing, any ideas you have or information you’d like to share! Some of this information is from 2017 (when the original 99 days to 9/9 journey was created, but I will update the page if necessary leading up to September 9, 2018 (and will bold 2018). 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 this year (2018) marks the 20th FASDay!

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).

Last year, CanFASD asked people to use the hashtags #FASDay2017 and #CanFASD to share how you are spreading awareness. I have not seen anything yet for 2018, but why not tag activities with #FASDay2018 then we can search for activities.

NOFASD Australia  has information on their website for 2017 and is encouraging people to share their activities. In 2018 NOFASD Australia officially joined the Red Shoes Rock movement.

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 leading up to FASDay. This grassroots group has free artwork you can use in your social media or even to create a personalized t-shirt. In 2018 the campaign theme is Start the Conversation. They also introduced a dedicated website: Red Shoes Rock. You can find out more information about Red Shoes Rock by visiting the website or check out  Red Shoes Rock and 99 Days to FASDay.

Red Shoes Rock 18 logo

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.”

In 2018, with your help, Mac, hopes to travel the world in 99 days to give a bigger voice to persons with FASD. Wear your red shoes and take pictures of where in the world you are with Mac’s Body Double.

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In the heart spirit of the FLAT STANLEY, project created by Dale Hubert, M.Ed. of Ontario, Canada, Mac hopes to send his body double to tell the story of FASD.

Visit the Red Shoes Rock webpage to find a cutout of Mac!

Calling all those living in Canada (well so far Alberta and Ontario)

London, Ontario ROCKED last year with the first Red Shoes Rock Walk. We have not heard yet if the walk will be repeated for 2018.

Rumour is there is another special event planned for Toronto, Ontario. As soon as details are confirmed they will be posted.

Alberta (Canada) has a couple of activities for 2018. They want to make Edmonton and the surrounding area the most ‘FASD Friendly’ place in Canada: The Edmonton and area Fetal Alcohol Network is hosting their Red Shoes Rock: Start the FASD Conversation challenge (open to anyone anywhere):

We think, working together, we can make Alberta the most ‘FASD Friendly’ province in this country. Let’s all join the conversation and rock some red shoes as we educate and inform all of our communities about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, its prevention, and how we can help to support children, youth, adults, caregivers, and communities.

Red Shoes Rock in Alberta

And Central Alberta FASD organization is holding the following event:

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International Awareness Available in Different Languages

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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 2018, the graphics and information are still relevant.

Social Media Thunderclap (2017) 

Leaving this up because I hope it will be repeated in 2018.

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, 2018 at 9:09 a.m.?

In 2016 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 over 900 kilometres, through 5 provinces and 4 time zones wearing my red shoes and sharing my journey across Canada.

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To see what I did in 2017, check out:

Day 1 of 9: Challenge Accepted: Red Shoes Rock Out FASD

Day 2: Red Shoes Rock: Bridging the Gap

Day 3: Red Shoes Rock: Pillars for Success

Day 4 Red Shoes Rock – Invisible No More

Red Shoes Rock Day 5: Back to School

Day 6 of Red Shoes Rock: FASD Umbrella

Day 7 Red Shoes Rock: Reflecting FASD

Day 8 Red Shoes Rock: FASD Does NOT Define Us

FASDay: What are you grateful for?

Stay tuned for 2018 plans!

I’d love to hear what others are planning! Please feel free to comment below or send details to fasd@oursacredbreath.com and I will include them on this page. You can also find out what is happening by visiting the Rec Shoes Rock Facebook  page.

3 thoughts on “Day 50 of 99 Days: The birth of FASDay

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