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Awareness Calendar
Click on the month for detailed information on the causes.


American Diabetes Alert Day

National Kidney Month

National MS Month

American Red Cross Month

YMCA Healthy Kids Day

Save Your Vision Week

Mental Retardation Month

National Patient Safety Awareness Week

National Poison Prevention Week

World Tuberculosis Day


Earth Day

National Volunteer Week

World Health Day

National Autism Awareness Month

Cancer Control Month

National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Sexually Transmitted Disease Month

Foot Health Month


MDA-ALS Awareness

Lupus Awareness

Food Allergy Awareness Week

Women's Health Week

Buckle Up America Week

World No Tobacco Day

National Arthritis Month

Stroke Awareness Month

High Blood Pressure Month

Hemochromatosis Screening Awareness Month

Sight Saving Month


Dystonia Awareness Week

National Headache Awareness Week

Career Nurse Assistants Day

National Men's Health Week

Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week

HIV Testing Day

Vision Research Month

Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month

National Aphasia Awareness Month

National Scleroderma Awareness Month


National Therapeutic Recreation Week

International Massage Week

Eye Injury Prevention Month

Light the Night for Sight

International Group B Strep Awareness Month


National Minority Donor Awareness Day

America's Night Out Against Crime

Spinal Muscular Atrophy Month

Psoriasis Awareness Month

Amblyopia Awareness Month


Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Suicide Awareness Week

STOP a Suicide Today

Alcohol Awareness Month

National Women's Health and Fitness Day

Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month

National Cholesterol Education Month

National Menopause Awareness Month

National Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week


Breast Cancer Awareness

World Food Day

Domestic Violence Awareness

Healthy Lung Month

National Dental Hygiene

Down Syndrome Awareness

School Lunch Week


Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

American Diabetes Awareness Month

National Alzheimers Awareness Month

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

National Adoption Awareness Month

National Family Caregivers Month


World Aids Day

World Health Organization


Elton John Aids Foundation

Ryan White Emergency Act

Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric AIDS Foundation

Safe Toys & Gifts Awareness Month

Bone Marrow Disease Awareness Week


Birth Defects Prevention

Cataract Awareness

Cervical Cancer Awareness

Glaucoma Awareness

Volunteer Blood Donors

Thyroid Awareness

Healthy Weight Awareness

Folic Acid Awareness


National Wear Red Day

Organ Donor Day

Burn Awareness Week

Eating Disorders Awareness Week

American Heart Month

Wise Health Consumer Month

Children's Dental Health Month

National Cardiac Rehabilitation Week

Awareness Ribbons: Colors for the Cause

Causes That Inspire

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, and now…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 Awareness Ribbons continue to be associated with American Armed Forces and gain poignancy as lives continue to be lost in the Middle East. The same color is associated with Suicide Prevention. Yellow Ribbons also symbolize Hope, a common link among all humanitarian causes; an arrow accompanying a Yellow Ribbon means "Hope Ahead." A Gold Awareness Ribbon symbolizes childhood cancer, and orange is the color for Leukemia.

Pink 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 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 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 Ribbons spread awareness about 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 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.

For more information, see the entry on Awareness Ribbons in Wikipedia.

-- DeWayne Lumpkin, Freelance Writer

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Featured Articles
Awareness Ribbons

Art Quotient

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Chris Burke: Acting on his Conviction for Down Syndrome

PKD Walk

Ben's Wishful Thinking: A Video Game with Kids Fighting Cancer

The EduCare Foundation: Unlocking Potential Through Educational Compassion

National Volunteer Week: Honoring Volunteers & Inspiring Service

Skookum Educational Programs

Songs of Love

Ethel M's Feed Your Mind

Tsunami Relief

Worthy Causes

T J Martell Foundation

RADD: Recording Artists, Actors & Atheletes Against Drunk Driving

Cure Search: National Childhood Cancer Foundation & Childrens Oncology Group

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Inspiring Quotes

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--Anne Frank

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