Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Could We Be Any More Aware? Don't F--k With October
30+ Events, Holidays & Causes

from Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos
Yom Kippur is on October 7-8, but you better get your atoning started early, because we've got a busy month ahead of us before we get dressed up for Halloween on the 31st.

As I began to explore what I should know about October, I fell down a rabbit hole of peoples, events, health issues and hobbies of which I had not formally been Aware, but which Congress and other American and international organizations have declared I bloody well should be.

After all, I have nothing else to do in October.  (October is also Sarcasm Awareness Month.)

NaGraNoWriMo - National Graphic Novel Writing Month - or, for me, yet another writing challenge I plan to totally skip.  Y'all go right ahead and have fun with that.

If your creativity runs in a different direction, get your art on for National Arts and Humanities Month, because that's in October, too.

Como Se Dice?  Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept 15 to October 15)  was instituted by Lyndon Johnson as a single week back in 1968, expanded by Congress in 1988.  They apparently didn't realize what a PIB it would be to have the holiday spanning two months.

Got pasta?  Italian American Heritage Month celebrates the fifth largest ethnic group in the United States.  Chances are, if you're an American, you're either at least partly Italian, or know someone who is.  You may not be aware that Italians as well as Japanese were detained or imprisoned in the 1940's for speaking Italian in public.

Click the link for ways to celebrate Filipino American History/Heritage Month.  Did you know they set foot in Morro Bay 33 years before the English landed in Plymouth Rock?  Just sayin', if it was the other way around, we might be speaking Tagalog.

American Humane Association's Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month.  Because everybody loves puppies, and older dogs make great pets.  Rescuing a pet in need, rather than buying from a breeder, is a wonderful way to help animals and feel good about yourself.

PACER's National Bullying Prevention Month - you can Run, Walk or Roll on October 1, wear orange on October 12, Unity Day, or participate in a Unity Dance on October 26.  Bullying hurts not only the victims, but the bully and bystanders as well, so let's make it stop.

Who are some of the targets of bullying?  Among others, those with disabilities, such as Down's Syndrome, those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.  Those who stutter.

October is also National Down Syndrome Awareness Month.  And October 22 is International Stuttering Awareness Day.  Did you know this year was the sixth LGBT History Month?  I certainly did not, but I do now.  If you're still in the closet, consider popping out on October 11, National Coming Out Day.  If you're not gay, you can still show your support as an ally.

"Profit by Investing in Workers with Disabilities" is the theme in 2011 for National Disability Employment Awareness Month.  Just because somebody can't use their legs, or eyes, or perhaps needs medication for a mental disability, doesn't mean s/he wouldn't make a terrific contribution to the job force.

Speaking of jobs, there's National Work and Family Month - to "communicate and celebrate the progress to creating healthier and more flexible work environments."  With economy where it is, of course, many people feel that having a job at all would be a "healthier work environment."  (Sorry, just honoring the sarcasm thing.)

You probably need your car to get to and from your healthier work environment.  And it just so happens October is Fall Car Care Awareness Month.  Seriously, folks, whether you're in the Northern Hemisphere of the Southern, it does make sense to checks your car at least twice a year for things like worn windshield wipers, fluid levels, tire pressure, brakes and lights.

Speaking of checking, how about those smoke alarms?  In honor of National Fire Prevention Month, I'm sharing a link to 10 Home Fire Safety Tips.  Because nobody is in favor of a house fire (with the possible exception of those who love a hoarder).

from photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos
The ADHA is promoting National Dental Hygiene Month, since after all we need our teeth in good shape to eat the following:  Chili, Seafood, Apples, Cookies, Tomatoes, Pizza and Popping Popcorn. during  National Dessert Month.

National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month - because drug abuse can start with what's in your medicine cabinet.  Tell your kids to cut back on the cough syrup cocktails.

Can you hear me now, or it it all blurring together?  Yep, it's also National Audiology Awareness Month & National Protect Your Hearing Month.

It's National Stamp Collecting Month, too, developed to introduce children (and adults) to this "popular and educational hobby."  And National Roller Skating Month, to get people moving off their fat, national dessert month-stuffed a$$es.

This may surprise you, but I actually skipped a bunch of other "things".  Not because they aren't all worthy causes, but because there's only so much Awareness my poor little squirrel brain can take. 

However I saved for last, three Awarenesses that are very near and dear to my heart.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Pretty much the USA seems covered in pink ribbons during October.  Keep in mind, breast cancer does not only happen to women, and we should be cognizant of ALL reproductive cancers, not just those impacting the TaTas.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month -  1-800-799-SAFE (7233) TTY 1-800-787-3224  National Domestic Violence Hotline   Domestic violence is not simply being hit, pushed, or physically threatened.  Verbal and financial abuse is also domestic abuse.  Click here for a Safety Plan for a Friend, Relative or Co-Worker Who Is being Abused.

Customized Ribbons available
from Planned & Unplanned Life
October is also Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month.  For those who lost a baby, or a much wanted pregnancy at any stage, this month gives them a chance to share their grief, and look for answers.  You can light a candle on October 15 at 7 pm if you'd like the join the International Wave of Light.

I'm not going to tell you what to do for October.  (I know, I'm always ready to tell you what to do, but not this time.)

What I will do, is ask.  If you feel inspired to post something as your FaceBook status, or Tweet something, or whatever - consider those who might be impacted, and reconsider just being a mindless follower of a silly and hurtful game.  If you truly want to post something to "promote breast cancer awareness," how about a personal statement, "Breast cancer and reproductive cancer awareness is important to me, because I'm a survivor"? Or "because I lost my mother to this disease."  Include a link where people can get more information, or make a donation.

Think about promoting some of the other significant Awarenesses listed on this post.  In your blogs, in your Tweets, on FaceBook, in conversation with others.  Yes, we can't promote them ALL, but we can make a difference.

If you do, come back and leave a comment here, and I will include you in a special Thank You post at the end of October.