Doing Things for Awareness


I am not questioning whether or not it works. I am simply asking what works best. As a survivor of cancer, brain injury, ataxia, impaired vision, and hearing deficits, I support several charities. At least once per year, each of the charities, and people affected by adversity, host events to increase awareness. I agree walks, runs, skates, rolls, swims, cycling, and just about anything cross country or long distance will receive some media attention. However, attention is not the same as change. Is the goal simply to spotlight an issue or affect change? Perhaps, there is a better way.

A better way may be simple, or it may be complex. Perhaps, the issue gains more attention when an event takes place in several states, countries, or even continents. Could charities team up to “cross sell?” Even though charities may support people with different adversities, the symptoms people have may be similar. There is value promoting an event to attract people who are affected by adversity, but there might be more value promoting an event to people who are not affected by adversity.

I don’t have the answer, but you might. How can we solve the problems of awareness and action?


  1. I know I got very tired of the breast cancer pink ribbon. Men get breast cancer too. I was relieved to see
    I have a ribbon! My friends know more about head injuries now, because of me, which is good. But every single head injury is different so people don’t necessarily know how to respond.

    1. Lexie, I very much appreciate your comments, but I had to edit this one. Sorry! Although the ribbons, wrist bands, walks, rolls, cycles, swims, etc. may increase awareness, I think the increase is minimal and not really helpful if the goal is to increase awareness outside of the groups affected by the adversity. Furthermore, I believe increasing awareness does little unless it also causes aware people to initiate effective change. What can we do to promote change?

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