Get Ready for FASD Awareness Day 2003!
If you are like
most other FASD Awareness Day activists, you don't have much time or energy. But
have no fear - we have done the groundwork for you. Here are three things
you can do now. It's really not that hard. Give it a try. Nothing to lose,
right? If you think you are busy, look at how busy this Mom is. Three kids, two
with special needs. If she can do it, you can do it too, can't you? Here's
three easy steps we have outlined to get started:
(1) Pick a Partner! You don't
have to do this alone. Grab your phone and call someone in your area. In the
US? Lookie here: USA Directory
Click on your state. Connect with someone. Here's support in Canada.
Here's some international
contacts. If you can't afford a phone call ourside your area, then email
somebody. You don't have to do this alone. There's someone else out there who
is willing to help. Ask and you just might receive!
(2) Pick a Reporter! Next time you read the local
newspaper, pay attention to which reporters write about personal interest
stories. Choose a reporter who seems to be sensitive to special family or
children's issues, who will do a respectful interview with a family or
spokesperson. This spokesperson doesn't have to be you, but it could be! We'll
walk you through it - piece of cake. Write down the name of the reporter and
find out the phone number and address of the newspaper. Later you are going to
ask for an appointment and give them a press release. Would
you like to conduct a 5-minute radio interview on your favorite radio station?
Here is an interview
script for you and a radio person or you can just read this one-person script.
(3) Pick a Project! Are you bookmarking
everything? Keeping notes on file in your computer? Good! Set up a meeting (in
person, by email, or on the phone) with the other contacts in your area. Think
about what a difference YOUR part will make in preventing future cases of FASD
or helping children and adults already affected! Don't forget to include at
least one parent, one service provider (teacher, doctor, judge), and one
government leader (legislator, head of local department of mental health or
developmental disabilities or corrections). This will help you to bridge the information gap in your
community! Now pick one (or more) of the following events to turn into a news
your own Bell Concordance. Ask a church to ring their bells. I
choose to deal with the Catholic church, because the bishop of the diocese
can ask all the churches in the city to participate. In fact, the photo is
our cathedral here in Tucson. Here is the letter I
wrote to our diocese today. It has a sort of pro-life twist, because I
know that will appeal to the Bishop. If you know a local church that has
bells, write a letter and call and make an appointment to talk to whoever
is in charge. Take along a few brochures.
- Host a "BreakFASD"
(after the bell ceremony perhaps?). You
can ask the church if their is a community service group that might like
to provide donuts and coffee in the church hall. Or invite everyone to
bring a potluck dish to a nearby park, or a facility provided by a local
disabilities agency. This is a good opportunity to partner up with other
organizations who might like to collaborate in future projects and grant
opportunities. With an informal gathering of families and community
leaders, the folks who formulate local policy will get to meet the
children for are impacted by how those policies are implemented. It might
also provide an opportunity to start a local support group for parents and
a support group. It only takes two of you to begin with. After the
news story, families will reach out to you and you will meet the folks who
will do all this work for you next year! Call your local library and
reserve a meeting room. Set a date and time that is convenient for you. we
are going to meet the day after FAS DAY this year. The library is a good
place, because they usually have computers and Internet access (you might
want to reserve an hour, if necessary), and you can show local folks all
the cool Internet sights. Some fun and interesting URLs will be provided
to you later.
- Plan a "Walk-Along"
- if you can get a dozen people together and at least one special walker
(someone you know with FAS/FAE). This
is kind of like a Walk-a-thon but not exactly. It's called a
"Walk-Along" to remind everyone that kids with FAS disorders
will need someone to "walk along" with them for the rest of
their life, because they are at risk of failing if they try to go through life
on their own. Instead of pledging dollars per mile, people can make
straight donations to support the walker. Donations can be made to an
umbrella organization, like your local Arc chapter. Inform your local
Arc chapter that the National Arc has made funds available just for FAS
Prevention. Our Arc recognizes the need for preventing secondary
disabilities as well as preventing FAS itself, and awareness about
secondary disabilities is included in Arc awareness events here. More
about the "Walk-Along" later. Just find a public place like a
park or a lake or a mountain trail that you can use as a meeting place
(and media interview place). Look at what Minnesota did!
a public Information Table. Call the manager of your local shopping
mall. Ask if you can have a table for your FAS Support Group (even if it
is only you and your family) to distribute information on Fetal Alcohol
disorders. You can print FAS
handouts and get them copied at a local disability agency or parent to
parent organization or your local Arc. These Think
Before You Drink brochures from the Arc are nice. You can download and
print these FASD fact
sheets. Buy several bags of Snickers mini bars and pass them out with
one of these FAS
cards. Put this message
on the back. (These images will fit on standard business card forms.) Your
local March of Dimes (look in the phone book) might contribute bulk
brochures. Oh yes - here's a basic info sheet, very
simple, and a documented FASD Fact Sheet,
just print and copy. Make some FAS Knots. Turn
yourself into a KNOT
- Show a video or give a
can be scheduled at your local library. If you don't feel comfortable
giving a talk, your local March of Dimes office (look them up in the phone
book) might be willing to provide a speaker and/or a video. You can
purchase an excellent video for teens and young adults called "And Down Will Come Baby" for $12.50 by calling the
National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI) toll-free
(800) 729-6686 (Inventory Number VHS86). There are a limited number of copies of a good
prevention video with Native American theme, “Sacred Trust” available from
the same source (Inventory Number VHS100).
- Become a Poster Poster! Print out
some FASD Awareness posters and hang them up on local bulletin boards (at
the store, laundromat, churches, universities, etc.) You might even get
your local schools to post them. Here's everybody's favorite poster: "Little One" -
with the link for the printalbe version at the bottom. Here's the new FASD
Awareness Day poster 2003 version.
If you print out some of these on photo paper at "best"
resolution on your color printer, they will have a nigh quality
appearance. You can have large posters printed from the small ones for
just a few dollars at you local print shop.
as a Non-Profit organization in your state. You might want to do
this anyway, as it will be easier to get donations and apply for grants.
It's the first step to becoming a 501(c)(3) corporation. You can do that
next year. This year, just register with your state. To find the paperwork
you can download from Internet, if your are in the U.S., go to Charity
USA where you will find a link to your state's info on how to
register. You just fill out a few simple forms and send them to the
Secretary of State. Here is information for becoming tax-exempt in Canada.
a Proclamation signed by your mayor or governnor. Here is a sample letter.
Here is a sample
proclamation. This is probably the easiest thing to do, if this is
your first FASDAY. Sometimes the mayor or governor will allow a
"photo op" - like Steve in WA or
Dayna in KS. It might be a good idea to use this FASDAY Fact Sheet to
back up your proclamation statements.
- Conduct a FAS Teen Survey
in your community. Just find one teen who knows 20 other teens, and you
will be participating in a nation-wide survey. All this takes is a $5
donation to the teen who conducts the survey to pay for 20 mini candy
bars. The survey can be downloaded here.
- Plan a Pregnant Pause event
in your community. This is great fun and involves lots of folks for a fun
media event. Pregnant
Pause is a contest for creating non-alocholic drinks, where bartenders
mix the drinks, and pregnant women judge the drinks and vote on a winner.
The recipes can be shared along with a message about the importance of
staying alcohol free during all 9 months of pregnancy.
- If you have community interest and commitment already
and want to move forward, and want to do more than just a one-day media
event, then you are ready to follow the Prince George’s Northern Family Health
Society model for community action. Start with the Mind Mapping, one of their Tools for FAS Community
Development. If this is too overwhelming, then stick to something
simple and easy, like the last idea here:
- Host a Mini FASD Awareness
Campaign! This is great for the office - yours or your doctor's - or
any reception area that will give you permission. Just a bowl of Snickers
mini bars and some FASD Fact Cards are all you need. Details here.
You know, you don't have to
wait until September 9th to do this, because Every Day is FASD Awareness
Now, did we make this easy for you or what? Go make that
first phone call and you will be on your way!
Need more help? In Canada, call Bonnie Buxton and Brian Philcox in Toronto:
(416) 264 - 8111 In the US, call Teresa Kellerman in Tucson:
(520) 296 - 9172.
Last Update: July 4, 2003