Food Allergy Awareness Week
Abby, age 14, is allergic to eggs and tree nuts and has one big gripe: “ When you explain to a person that you have a food allergy, they make a huge deal out of it. Many people cannot imagine what life would be like with a food allergy. This really bothers me.”
Frustrated with always having to explain the seriousness of her allergy to new friends, Abby realized, “The only way to improve this situation is to spread the word about food allergy. People need to know it is serious, but it can also be easily managed. We need to educate people about food allergy: what it is, how to manage it, and what to do when a reaction occurs.”
Abby and 15 other teens participated in FAAN’s Kids’ Congress on Capitol Hill this past fall. The teens traveled to Washington, D.C., to ask their state representatives to sponsor the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act of 2005 (H.R. 4063). Their efforts had great results—numerous representatives immediately agreed to co-sponsor the bill.
Although educating others about food allergies may seem like a daunting task, many FaanTeens have discovered easy ways to raise awareness while having a lot of fun in the process. Here are some suggestions:
Ask your local representative to sponsor H.R. 4063.Visit our main site to find out if your local representative is already a sponsor or to download a model letter.
Ask for donations instead of gifts.Julie, 16, is allergic to milk and wanted to do something different for her birthday this year. Julie created her own fund-raising Web page and sent the link to friends and family, asking them to donate money to FAAN in lieu of presents. So far, Julie’s been our top fund-raiser using this new program!
Thirteen-year-old Carlo is allergic to many foods and also wanted to make a difference. For his bar mitzvah, he asked guests to make donations to FAAN instead of bringing presents. With their selflessness, both Julie and Carlo have made a big impact.
Do you have a birthday or a graduation coming up? Consider asking your friends and family to make donations to FAAN in your honor. Create a fund-raising page, add your photo and your story, and get started!
Search the Web using GoodSearch.com.Each time you search the Web using this new search engine (powered by Yahoo!) and select FAAN as your designated charity, a contribution is made to us. The more people who use GoodSearch and designate FAAN as their charity, the more money FAAN will receive for programs and services. Add a link to GoodSearch to your instant messaging profile or your MySpace page.
Get a team together to Walk for Food Allergy.Kelly, age 17, wanted to educate her friends about food allergies, so she volunteered to help plan a Walk for Food Allergy. The Walk for Food Allergy will be coming to cities all around the country this fall; get a group of friends to walk with you, or contact our office to help plan a Walk near you.
Plan an awareness event for your school.More than 11 million Americans live with food allergies, so the odds are good you’re not the only one in your community who has one. Talk to your school nurse, school principal, or favorite teacher about planning an awareness event at your school, such as a Jeans for Food Allergies Day.
Wear a food allergy awareness bracelet.
These teal-colored bracelets say “Food Allergy P.A.L.” and come packaged with either food allergy facts or a message about food allergies from a teen. Why not consider buying one for each of your friends or teammates? Visit our main website for more information.
Let us know what awareness activities you plan for your school or your community. Be sure to take lots of pictures, too! Remember, you can make a BIG difference.
Want more information about Food Allergy Awareness Week?
Visit our main website for details.