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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Every October, millions of Americans attend awareness events and fundraisers around the country to increase awareness and raise money for breast cancer research. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. Despite these startling statistics, many women can survive breast cancer if it’s detected and treated early on. But, while most people are aware of breast cancer, few know how to detect the disease early on.
So, how can you help increase awareness and fundraise for breast cancer?
• Know the facts – The first step to increasing awareness for breast cancer is educating yourself about the disease. Inform yourself about statistics, symptoms and breast cancer foundations, so that you can spread knowledge about the cause and know where to donate.
• Encourage early detection – Women who have breast cancer have cancer cells forming in the tissues of their breast. The damaged cells can spread to the surrounding tissue. But, by detecting and treating the cancer early on, many women can survive and continue living a normal life. Based on their age and health history, all women should get screened for breast cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends women over age 40 undergo mammograms and clinical breast exams annually. Women in their 20s and 30s should get a clinical breast exam every three years. Once women reach their 20s, they should routinely conduct breast self-exams. Encourage your friends and family to consult with their doctor about a screening.
• Fundraise – Participate in an awareness event or race in your community. These events are a great way to raise awareness and fundraise for the cause. The money you raise will to a foundation or charity aimed at finding a cure and providing mammograms and support services to women in need.
• Wear pink – Pink is the universal color for breast cancer. During the month of October, people all over the country will be showing their support by wearing pink shirts, breast cancer bracelets or pins. Sports teams show their support by wearing pink uniforms or displaying pink ribbons on their jerseys. Show your support for the cause by wearing breast cancer awareness items and encourage others to do the same.
Tips For Planning The Best Awareness and Charity Campaign
Do you want to do something to help a cause that you feel passionate about? If so, you aren’t alone. According to a study done by The Nonprofit Almanac and CNN, 70% of Americans give to charity each year and estimate that $666.1 billion is contributed to the country’s economy by non-profits. An awareness campaign can be helpful for educating others and furthering your cause, regardless of what it may be. Some people that are new to charity and event planning may be a little worried about planning their own awareness raising event, but with the right planning and resources you can have something great. When you’re planning your next awareness raising or cause oriented event, make sure you follow the below tips.
Timing is everything
Are you passionate about raising awareness for breast cancer? If so, you may want to hold your awareness event in October during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Do you want to raise money to help support our troops or veterans? Hold your event around Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, or the Fourth of July. Good timing can help make a difference between your event having a modest turn out to a lot of participation. See if there are any awareness months or weeks in the future, and plan around them.
Reach out locally
Do you have a favorite restaurant you like to eat at? Are you familiar with employees at some popular local businesses? These businesses may be willing to help sponsor your event. As we mentioned previously, there are a lot of people out there that want to give to charity and help others. Getting the right sponsorships can help provide food, prizes, or just plain old cash donations and helping hands. When you’re planning your event make a few phone calls and send a few e-mails. You never know who will be interested.
To get to the big picture, look at the little things
You have a big event planned out in your mind, but you have no idea how to make it reality. If you’re feeling stumped or overwhelmed planning wise, try to think about things on a smaller scale. Lets say you want your event guests to have something to take home, but you don’t know how to start planning. Reach out for donations of cash or prizes from local businesses for a raffle, and think about getting awareness pins or bracelets to give attendants. Once you think about things on a small scale, planning gets a lot easier.
If you had to take a guess about how happy your employees are working for you, how happy would you say they are? Many reading this would say their employees and co-workers have never been happier, but their thoughts and opinions on worker happiness is essentially wrong. According to a study done by Right Management and the staffing firm Manpower Group, only 19% of currently employed workers are happy with their job.
We know what some of you may be thinking. Work isn’t supposed to be all fun and games, work is just supposed to be work! The real problem is that unhappy employees aren’t just miserable, they’re also making everyone else’s job miserable. Unhappy workers aren’t productive, motivated, or innovative, and their feelings tend to spread around the office. If you want to make your employees happy, you don’t have to do anything crazy. Follow these tips to bring the happiness back into your office.
Give them new responsibilities
This may sound like just giving your employee more work to do, but it goes much deeper than that. Would you be happy doing the same thing over and over again during the day? You have a variety of people employed that all have their own unique skills and abilities. Allow them to step outside of their office role/comfort zone and take on new tasks and responsibilities that they’re interested in. Nobody is happy if they feel like they’re stagnant, and a new role or project could be what they need to stay happy.
Sometimes employees are unhappy because they feel like they’re ignored or under appreciated. When was the last time you’ve told somebody that you’re happy with their work? If you don’t tell them, they won’t be able to know about it. Make sure that you tell them whenever you’re happy with what they’re doing. Sometimes a few kind words can go a long way at the office, and some small tokens of appreciation can do wonders for motivation. A simple lapel pin that can be awarded to the best employee in a department can do a lot to motivate your employees and help keep them happy.
Make yourself available
When was the last time you’ve had one on one time with an employee? Are you the kind of boss that is there with them in the morning and until they leave, or do you just breeze in and out of the office? Absentee bosses don’t do any good to help employee happiness, and if you’ve been neglecting your management and boss duties your employees will notice and wonder where you are. Make yourself available to your employees, but don’t expect them to take the first step. Reach out to them and start seeing them on your own time. Once you open up to them they’ll be more than happy to do the same for you.
Guess who’s 227 years old today? Our American Constitution! And since 1911 our country has been celebrating this day in a multitude of ways. Teachers will spend the whole week around September 17th teaching students about this important document, and how it is truly a living, breathing document with current ramifications upon our 21st century lives. And if you’re no longer in school, but still want to take part in Constitution Day/Week, there are a lot of ways to do that!
Check out your local library or community center. See if anything is going on that’s related to the celebration. Many local communities have a reading of the Constitution, along with festivities at local government buildings. It’s a great way to experience the Constitution, with those in your own community, and to meet local government officials.
Other festivities that are going on over the country include historical reenactments of the signing of the Constitution, which brings to life the culture and the structure of society at the time it was signed. Also, many government buildings will be handing out printed versions of the Constitution along with small tokens of patriotism like American flag lapel pins or other patriotic lapel pins depicting iconic American imagery.
High schools sometimes perform patriotic displays from the dance or cheer-leading squads, and non-profits sometimes pick days and weeks like this to push information on getting out the vote for local elections and other local business.
However you do it, take a moment to celebrate Constitution day! Whether it’s by reading the Constitution, wearing patriotic lapel pins, or registering to vote. It may not be as flashy as the 4th of July, but in terms of significance, this document is just as important as our independence day, because like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution provides a map of how our government can run, what it can and cannot do, and after 227 years, it is still just as relevant as it was the day it was signed.
I hadn’t even had my coffee yet. I had news radio on while I got ready for my college classes, and at first I was sure what I was listening to was a joke, like that old Orson Wells radio drama, The War of the Worlds? I was listening to a really elaborate, not really funny radio gag. Until I finally did go down for that cup of coffee and turned on the TV news. This was no joke.
I didn’t go to any of my classes that day.
Instead I went to my parents’ house and sat with my mother, glued to the TV, clutching coffee cups that did nothing but get cold in our hands as we watched with increasing shock at the aftermath of the first tower being hit, and then witnessing live footage of the second tower’s horrifying demise. Even 13 years on I still remember the looks on the faces of the New Yorkers who were fleeing the area, covered in chalky white dust, their faces just as white beneath it: from fear, from disbelief, from burgeoning grief. For all Americans everywhere, starting in New York city and bleeding out, the world stopped spinning. Like a carousel grinding to a halt.
Today, over a decade removed, I still feel a heaviness on this day. The world according to the US has long since started its motors back up, the gears are all moving together again, moving us forward. But on this day everything slows a little bit still, the memories flood, the sadness over all those lives lost, and lives changed, fills my head. An entire generation is growing up “post-9/11″. An entire generation only knows the world according to terrorist threat ratings and has no memory of the New York skyline with the original Twin Towers standing proud.
But Americans have a lot to be proud of and a lot to look forward to. We’ve come back strong from that dark day, and though we’ve stumbled a few times in our attempts to reassert ourselves, we’re definitely standing tall again. We’re amazing that way, and have been since we were just a fledgling collection of colonies, braving the unknown for dreams of a better tomorrow. It’s our neverending dreaming that has not changed in over 300 years.
So on this day, we at PinMart just want to say thank you for all the reasons you purchase our products, because they’re all so very American. From the little league teams buying trading pins, charities using awareness ribbon pins to raise money for cancer, for Fortune 500 companies thanking their employees with gold plated service pins. You help us at PinMart fulfill our desire to keep America great. You inspire us!
Love it or hate it, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has had a big impact not only on the ALS community and the research that is being done to help alleviate and eventually eradicate the disease, but also on how we view and experience the act of giving. Creating an active way to give back, and providing a platform for us as Americans to show off, as we so seem to like to do, while also building awareness and funds for a critical disease was a brilliant idea. Some feel it has gone too far and turned into more of a publicity stunt than anything else, but the numbers don’t lie: $80 million dollars have been raised in response to the ice bucket challenge. That’s compared to the under $2 million raised by this time last year.
And when the likes of Bill Gates and Superman have done it, it was a no-brainer for our fearless leader, Steve Geyer, president of PinMart, to do it as well. Posted last week on our Facebook page, Mr. Geyer took the plunge and donated to the cause on video, wearing awareness ribbon lapel pins on his shirt as he did so. Even living in Florida, a bucket of ice water is a bit more than refreshing! So we wanted to thank him for his donation, his bringing awareness to the cause, and everyone else who has done the same.
For those out there not keen on the challenge, for whatever reason, there are still so many other ways to contribute to ALS, or any other cause near and dear to your heart. Purchasing products that donate proceeds to charities is a great way to give back and get a little bit in return. Various awareness ribbon lapel pins on our site result in donations to causes when you purchase them through us, as well as other products, from rubber bracelets to lanyards. And of course you can participate in runs, bake sales, and other fundraising activities. Or just go to the website of your favorite charity and click “donate” to do your part with as little muss and fuss as you please!
Whatever your feelings on the ice bucket challenge, this phenomenon has raised awareness not only for ALS, but about the idea of donating and charities in general. It is reshaping how we as Americans give, and that’s unequivocally a good thing. Everyone can donate something, be that time, money, or products like awareness ribbons, to their favorite cause. From the controversial to the conventional, donations create change. Do your part!
Cataracts effect roughly 50% of Americans who are at or older than 80 years old. One in two! Facts like that are equal parts startling and even a little bit comforting to know. Startling because that implies that roughly 150 million Americans suffer from this side effect of old age. Comforting because if and when it happens to me at least I’ll know I’m in good company. But you would think that if half of our octogenarians are experiencing cataracts, that the act of removing and treating them wouldn’t be an issue, and yet it is. Which is why August has been designated as National Cataract Awareness month.
Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye, which reduces the amount of light that can enter the eye, and this clouding increases over time if not treated and can result in complete blindness. The good news is that cataracts are almost always treatable with surgery and many times those who receive surgery can see better than before they even had cataracts. The bad news is that many Americans will put off cataract surgery until their sight is highly compromised, despite the reduced quality of life that cataracts cause. The reasons they put it off are usually relate to misconceptions about the surgery and subsequent healing period following the surgery.
That’s where awareness programs come in. Through campaigns that set up booths and kiosks in places that cater to older Americans, these programs aim to clear up the misconceptions related to cataract surgery, and increase the speed at with those dealing with cataracts undergo the surgery. Most of these programs are highly non-invasive and consist mostly of brochures about the process coupled with promotional items, like awareness ribbons or rubber bracelets, provided by local ophthalmologists. Removing the mystery of the surgery and making surgeons accessible to potential patients increases their likeliness of addressing the cataracts sooner, and restores their previous good vision to them sooner. And in a world this strange and beautiful, nobody who has the choice should ever miss a thing.
When you run an organization or a business, creating a sense of unity is incredibly important. You will also want a way to ensure that the world knows about you and your mission or offerings. Although a t-shirt or a logo could work, there are other, more distinctive options that are worth looking into. One of the best ways to let people know of your organization and to create a sense of camaraderie amongst your members, employees, or volunteers is to use embroidered patches.
There are plenty of organizations that can benefit from embroidered patches. Here are just a few.
1. Sports Teams
If you run a sports team, such as a little league baseball team, an embroidered patch can display the person’s membership and enthusiasm to the rest of the community. This makes your players feel special and, of course, a true part of the team. The great part is that, with customized patches, any type of sport and any logo can be represented – from teenage soccer teams to college lacrosse and beyond. Also, each member can have their team number and name on the patch, making everyone feel like they stand out.
2. Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts
One of the best ways to show off your scout troop pride is by using an embroidered patch. In fact, earning patches is one of the hallmarks and major goals of scouting – the more you have, the more you have achieved in the organization. In addition, the patches can even be worked into the arts and crafts portions of scout activities. After all, nothing looks better on a scout uniform than a classic embroidered patch—or patches—that can be sewn or ironed onto them by the members themselves.
The military is one of the most well-known organizations to use patches. They are an important part of the uniform, often indicating rank and the specific position a person holds, and complement the pins and insignias that bedeck a uniform. These patches can also commemorate particular assignments and missions.
4. Local Organizations
Many types of local organizations could also use embroidered patches to great effect. From the local book club to the fire department, most groups want to have a sense of purpose and belonging, and patches can give them that. Since some of these types of groups may not have uniforms on which to place a patch, you could always offer customized totes, messenger bags or even t-shirts.
These four different uses for embroidered patches are very common. However, nearly every club, organization, or even business could benefit tremendously from having them. Just remember to have a specific logo design in mind and you will be ready to go!
School starts this week for most of the nation’s children, and with that come a lot of things to check off your to do list. Things like new backpacks, school clothes, supplies, lunch boxes and even just getting children back into a school time schedule state of mind, from bedtime to scheduling in homework time again. But another vital component of that to do list should be to check and make sure your kids are up to date on their immunizations. While it is a somewhat contested topic amongst individuals, the majority of Americans understand the importance of preventing their child from getting dangerous diseases like chicken pox to polio.
But when parents and kids have so many things to take care of before school starts, vaccines are often pushed back or ignored entirely, and that’s a dangerous procrastination. Vaccines not only protect your child, but they help protect the entire community your child is in, because if your child is immune from these diseases, they cannot contract and spread it either. With the news filled with Ebola concerns the issue of vaccinations for preventable diseases is also becoming a very popular topic.
So get your kids into their pediatrician this month before school gears up. And if your kids are among the many who are scared of shots and doctors, consider ways to make the experience as fun and painless as possible. Bring your children’s favorite portable games with you to play in the car and at the doctor’s office while you wait. Distract them during the actual doctor visit with questions about your children’s favorite things, whatever they may be. Or perhaps pin on a guardian angel pin before they go in, as a way to protect them and make them feel more brave.
However you handle immunizations, make sure you get in for them during the month of August, which is National Immunization Month. The more you can do to prevent illnesses, the less you and your community has to worry about, and the more time you kids can spend being kids… and doing homework. Ugh.