October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month – a time dedicated to raising awareness, promoting understanding, and supporting those affected by Spina Bifida. It offers not only a perfect opportunity to continue educating ourselves, our communities, workplaces, elected officials, even our health care professionals, but also the occasion to connect with each other and celebrate our community.
Here are ways to celebrating Spina Bifida Awareness Month. For more information and additional resources, please visit 2023 Spina Bifida Awareness Month.
1. Raise your voice and share a story.
Every October we share stories and lived experiences, big and small, to help raise awareness. We encourage you to share your story.
- You can do this via your own social media accounts and networks. Be sure to use #SBAM2023and #SpinaBifidaAwarenessMonth as you post throughout the month.
- And, if you would like to share your story with SBA, we would love to feature you in SBA’s social media accounts. Share your story by clicking here.
This October is very special as we are also celebrating the Spina Bifida Association’s 50th Anniversary. If would like to share what the Spina Bifida Association means to you, we will share your thoughts during Awareness Month and throughout the remainder of the year.
2. Join us on social media.
- Follow SBA onFacebook, Twitter, and Instagram
- Be sure to use #SBAM2023and #SpinaBifidaAwarenessMonth as you post throughout the month.
- Visit 2023 Spina Bifida Awareness Month for more ideas and resources.
We have graphics and facts you can use to build awareness. If you want to get started now, you can share this graphic:
3. Make a new friend!
Are you on social media? If you are, try searching #SpinaBifidaAwarenessMonth or #SBAM2023. We are always stronger together, and if you connect with someone new you might not only make a new friend, but you might make a difference in someone else’s life.
4. Engage your networks. Host a workplace, school, or organization Awareness Day.
We’ve seen schools host events like a crazy sock day, offices host events like a dress down day, or organizations invite a guest speaker for a meeting.
- Organize a Spina Bifida Awareness Day. Encourage everyone to wear teal.
- Speak to an organization. Maybe there’s a scouting group, civic organization, health club where you talk about what it means to be impacted by Spina Bifida.
- Set up a display to promote Spina Bifida awareness. Public and school libraries often welcome this activity. Your display case can have photos, stories, Spina Bifida facts, brochures, etc. This is a great way to raise awareness about Spina Bifida, disability and accessibility as it pertains to your community!
Be sure to send any pictures you take to SBA and we’ll share them across our channels!
5. Consider hosting a fundraising event.
- Events have included participants paying a small amount to participate, think casual dress down day at work, and the money is donated to SBA.
- Many people fundraise through a local restaurant. Restaurants offer (digital) fundraisers where supporters can dine in, take out, and order on-line. Every fundraiser gets a unique code. When your supporters enter the code a percentage of the event sales will be donated directly to your cause.
- Can’t host an awareness day in-person? No problem! Create a virtual fundraiser on Facebook for SBA.
6. Advocate with the Spina Bifida community.
SBA is committed to advocating for the Spina Bifida community. We participate in meetings on Capitol Hill, contribute to coalitions, and work on our annual advocacy day – Teal on the Hill. Raising awareness is a yearlong activity. How can you get involved?
- Participate in our 2024 Teal on the Hill advocacy efforts.
- Be an advocate and lend your support to specific campaigns.
- Educate your lawmakers. We will be sending out more information during Awareness Month on how to identify your lawmakers and ways to reach out to them. Stay tuned.
- Visit your local legislators and request in person meetings for local impact.
Don’t know how to get started? Email us and we’ll be happy to talk with you about ways to advocate.
7. Walk-N-Roll for Spina Bifida and connect with others, raise awareness, and fundraise.
Walk-N-Roll is the Spina Bifida Association biggest “event” of the year. Walk-N-Rolls connect those impacted by Spina Bifida and bring together parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, relatives, healthcare providers, and key community stakeholders. It’s a festive, fun-filled event and you’re invited to be part of this amazing community. Join a Walk-N-Roll near you or Walk-N-Roll Your Way.
- Walk-N-Roll for Spina Bifida – Walk-N-Roll is SBA’s largest annual fundraiser for community programs, national research, advocacy, education, and support. This family-friendly event highlights a non-competitive one-mile walk/roll, educational resource fair, games and activities, and amazing opportunities to connect. Find a Walk near you here.
- Walk-N-Roll Your Way – If you do not live near a Walk-N-Roll location or just like to do your own thing, Walk-N-Roll Your way connects you to the Walk-N-Roll community with the freedom to design an event-day experience that’s perfect for you – anytime, anywhere. Walk-N-Roll Your Way unlocks the same incredible incentives and access to great resources to design a day that works for you. Bring together your friends and family – every mile makes a difference.
Be sure to use Walk-N-Roll and Awareness Month hashtags when you post via your social media accounts and networks:
- Walk-N-Roll: #WNR, #WalkNRoll, #WalkNRollforSB, #walknrollforspinabifida
- Awareness Month: #SBAM2023 and #SpinaBifidaAwarenessMonth
8. Make contact with your local media.
If you’re organizing an event, sharing a story, or participating in Walk-N-Roll, reach out to your local media and ask them to share your Spina Bifida Awareness activity. Newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations are all interested in stories that speak to awareness and serve to connect members of the local community. If you need help getting started, send us an email.
9. Become informed and stay connected.
Sign up for our electronic newsletter! We share Spina Bifida community news, research updates, local and national events, advocacy opportunities, and information on education and support. If you are already a member share the link with others. Let’s get others engaged in what we are doing.
Do you know how life-changing your donations are for the Spina Bifida community? This year, we’ve had hundreds of calls to our National Resource Center, hosted the 2023 World Congress on Spina Bifida, supported critical advocacy efforts, facilitated research surrounding our community centered research agenda, and provided educational programs – all of which have impacted tens of thousands of people.
For 31 days during the month of October, we will raise awareness about Spina Bifida. But we all know that this is not enough. Your donations are what will allow us to continue building a better and brighter future for all those impacted by Spina Bifida. This October, get involved. Take action. Donate.