Monday, September 19, 2005

Awareness Ribbons and Bracelets: Popular Fundraising Item

Humble beginnings often wind their way down unexpected paths toward unthinkable destinations. Certainly, no one could have predicted the journey a simple sewing notion has forged; increasing awareness and raising incalculable funds for worthy causes. Awareness Ribbons are available in every imaginable color. They are routinely constructed of fabric, metal, enamel, semi-precious stones, even chocolate.

Pinpointing the exact ancestry of today's Awareness Ribbon craze can be tricky. Some reference points include black mourning bands worn in Victorian times, yellow ribbons for veterans immortalized by Tony Orlando's song, and MADD's initial foray into symbolizing their cause with red ribbons tied to car antennas.

The current shape and signification is drawn from efforts to demonstrate public support for AIDS funding and compassion for those suffering, and dying, from the devastating disease. Jeremy Irons is credited with being the first public figure to don the simple red loop on his lapel at a high profile event: Broadway's Tony Awards. His courage and concern was contagious. Soon red ribbons were de rigueur at Hollywood events, charitable functions, and political gatherings.

The increase of public awareness and media interest in AIDS funding, research and support for individuals struggling with the disease is credited in great part to the proliferation of red ribbons on influential lapels. Other charitable organizations began signifying their individual causes with a multitude of colored ribbons. A Ribbon Roadmap may be needed to navigate the various colors and their respective causes.

Yellow RibbonYellow RibbonYellow Awareness Ribbons are associated with US Armed Forces and gain poignancy as lives are lost in the Middle East. Yellow is linked with Suicide Prevention, and symbolizes Hope, a common link among all humanitarian causes; an arrow accompanying a Yellow Ribbon means "Hope Ahead." A Gold Awareness Ribbon symbolizes childhood cancer.

Pink RibbonPink RibbonPink Ribbons are universally connected to Breast Cancer issues. Efforts by legions of volunteers affected by breast cancer have increased research funding and promoted routine self-examinations and mammograms for early detection. Pink also signifies Birth Parents for adoption related organizations.

Black RibbonBlack RibbonBlack Ribbons still represent Mourning and have also been adopted to increase awareness for Melanoma and Gang Violence. Blue Ribbons promote awareness about Colon Cancer and Child Abuse Prevention. Pin-striped Blue Ribbons have been adopted by organizations involved with Lou Gehrig's Disease. Colon Cancer and Scleroderma are signified by Light Blue Ribbons.

Purple RibbonPurple RibbonPurple and Silver are the most prevalent Awareness Ribbon colors. These colors represent so many causes; you may need to ask the ribbon wearer which one they're signifying. Go ahead…ask. They'll enjoy educating you about something close to their heart. Purple Ribbons have been employed by organizations supporting Pancreatic Cancer, Alzheimer's, Lupus, and Youth Courage. Purple also denotes issues related to Domestic Violence. Silver Ribbons demonstrate support for Multiple Sclerosis, Children with Diabetes, Brain Disorders, Amalgam and Anti-Stigma.

Green RibbonGreen RibbonGreen Ribbons spread awareness about Leukemia, Environmental Concerns, Organ Donation, Missing Children, and Safe Driving. White Lace Ribbons stand for Osteoporosis; solid White Ribbons represent Victims of Terrorism. Teal Ribbons are linked to Ovarian Cancer.

Red RibbonRed RibbonRed Awareness Ribbons will forever stand for AIDS related causes and MADD continues to spread their message with red ribbons on automobile antennas; Substance Abuse has also become associated with ribbons of red.

Just as options for colored ribbons seem saturated, creative supporters of charitable organizations continue to develop products in the shape of the now iconic Awareness Ribbon. Choices now include fine chocolates, candy suckers, costume jewelry and valuable ribbons made of rare metals and precious colored stones.

Our guide to Awareness Ribbons is less than comprehensive. Different colors are selected by causes on a regular basis. Yes, it can be confusing. The precise point of Awareness Ribbons has been to open a dialogue between the uninitiated and die-hard supporters of humanitarian organizations. Find a ribbon you can't identify and within minutes the wearer may have you initiated into the ranks of those supporting a cause.

--Annie Van Bebber

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Katrina PeopleFinder Project: An Online Volunteering Opportunity

Katrina PeopleFinder ProjectKatrina PeopleFinder ProjectIn her blog, Technology for the Nonprofit and Philanthropic Sector, Deborah Elizabeth Finn points us to an important new effort that is currently underway... The Katrina PeopleFinder Project. Volunteers are being solicited to spend an hour a day entering missing persons data into a central online database. For more information, see Deborah Elizabeth Finn's Blog and the Katrina Help Wiki Page.

Institute for Myeloma And Bone Cancer Research

MyelomaMyelomaIMBCR is an outstanding organization that is on the fast-track to developing successful therapies for myeloma and bone cancers that metastasize from the breast, prostate and lung.

Link to Institute For Myeloma And Bone Cancer Research

CureSearch Resource Directory For Childhood Cancer

CureSearch represents the combined efforts of the Children's Oncology Group (COG) and the National Childhood Cancer Foundation (NCCF), two organizations united by a common goal: finding a cure for childhood cancer. As partners in this search, each arm of CureSearch has vital responsibilities covering research, care, advocacy, and fund-raising.

CureSearch has available a free Resource Directory that includes listings for local, national and international organizations that offer resources for helping community members, parents and kids with childhood cancer. You can enter your ZIP code to find local and regional organizations.

Link To The CureSearch Directory