What a day September 9th – International FASD Awareness Day – was! I’ve only been involved in awareness activities for the last six years, but each year the movement grows. In fact so much so, that this year most organizations are declaring September as FASD Month. So while there are still activities happening, I wanted to capture just some of the highlights from the day.
While there is no possible way to report on everything, these are examples I saw or heard of on social media of how the day was recognized.
In many areas, September 9th began with a Bell Concordance at 9:09 a.m. (St. Thomas, Ontario Canada)
In other cities and towns, FASDay was proclaimed.
Agencies posted information. (Firefly Services)
And students made posters.
Messages were shared on company signs.
While others painted windows
and hung banners from poles. (SNAAP Nebraska USA)
Some even got messages on electronic billboards.
(Lauren Richardson and Pattison Signs, B.C., Canada)
Red Shoes Rock issued a challenge to do something different.
So we held ZooM parties, to paint red shoes rocks, while remaining safe and physically distant.
We then hid them on benches and beaches
and in the mouths of land fishes.
Some wore red shoes on their ears, round their necks or on their lapels.
While others went as far as to paint one on their car!
FASD t-shirts, stickers, bracelets and even lemonade was for sale.
(His Momma FASD, My Kiddos Advocate, FASDTShirts)
Including a new addition this year.
(Our Sacred Breath and Helen Simpson Orcutt)
From tiny tots, to “cops” in red and others rockin’ high tops…
(Jeff & Olivia, Rebound Child & Youth Services)
Even businesses joined in to show their support!
Messages spread from flash mobs in Italy
to Instagram posts in Deutschland.
Graphics were shared to remind and educate us all.
Individuals with FASD let their stories be told in words and with art
and some from the UK sang a song from the heart.
Nothing About Us Without Us is their rallying cry.
Our voices are being heard. Small funding increases made in the west … (Ontario, Canada announces additional annual increase of $3 million dollars)
and larger commitments announced down under.
FASDay ended with city signs lit up bright.
While bridges in Belleville cast red river reflections that night.
But the best I saw by far was Government House in Newfoundland and Labrador bathed in red light.
And while the month hasn’t ended and events are still likely to happen…
We know we must keep advocating, because…
But for this moment let’s celebrate how we all came together on one day in 2020 with a common cause to raise our voices about fetal alcohol.