The month of March is jammed packed with awareness topics. March is Athletic Training Month, Brain Injury Awareness Month, Child Life Month, and Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month just to name a few.
So this month, instead of diving into one particular cause, we are going to do an overview of five different causes and topics upon which you can build your awareness and take action.
If any of these causes prove to be intriguing or significant to you, make sure you get involved! We will direct you to the website that will best offer materials and resources to get you started. If you prefer a more passive approach, we will also recommend a few charities and non-profits to which you can donate!
The month of March includes the first day of spring—a season of new life and new beginnings. Make this season one that you make a difference in the world!
5 Ways To Get Involved & Build Awareness this March
Save Your Vision Month
Many of us take our vision for granted. However, in this day and age during which we spend so much time staring at a screen, our eyesight is a critical part of our overall health.
This month the American Optometric Association (or AOA) is fighting to bring awareness to this often overlooked topic.
According to the AOA, “Digital screens emit a specific type of blue and violet light. Overexposure to this high-energy, short-wavelength light can negatively impact eye health and case digital eye strain…Overexposing your eyes to your device’s blue light can cause a range of health issues. Doctors of optometry can help patients take the first step toward healthier eyes—and healthier bodies—with regular comprehensive exams.”
This organization provides a useful rule that you should know about and can tell your friends and family about: the 20-20-20 rule. The rule is this: After 20 minutes of exposure, take a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away. Easy enough!
If you would like to learn more about Save Your Vision Month, check out aoa.org. If you are interested in donating to this cause, check out the American Optometric Association or OneSight, an organization committed to improving eye care and eye wear internationally.
This month, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics wants you to pay a little more attention to the food you and your family eats. This year, the theme is “Go Further with Food”, which focuses on the positive impact that the choices in diet and exercise can truly make!
From food deserts to school lunch programs, there are countless issues concerning nutrition that affect the daily lives of millions of people. However, many of us have very limited knowledge when it comes to nutrition and healthy eating.
Check out eatright.org to find resources such as, “Feed Your Family Healthfully on a Low Income Budget” or “The Beginner’s Guide to Cruciferous Vegetables” to learn more about this important topic!
If you are inspired to donate to a nutrition related cause, check out the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation or the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition.
Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness Month
Multiple Sclerosis (or MS) affects approximately 400,000 people in the United States. In fact, 200 new cases are diagnoses each and every week.
You may have heard of MS, but do you know what it is?
The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation states, “MS is a chronic neurological condition that affects the central nervous system (or CNS)…In the CNS, nerve fibers are protected by a fatty layer of insulation called myelin…In MS, overactive immune cells cause inflammation, which damage the myelin. This results in a loss of myelin…and some degree of axonal damage.”
The damage and scarring caused to the nerve fibers results in a poor transmission of nerve signals to the brain, which can cause a vast array of symptoms.
This month, to learn more about MS and how you can get involved, head over to msfocus.org. Or, if you would prefer to donate to the cause, we recommend checking out Can Do Multiple Sclerosis or Multiple Sclerosis Focus.
So many of our internal organs go unnoticed and unappreciated until something goes awry. And our powerhouse organ—the kidney—is no exception!
Kidney disease often has no symptoms, so it goes undiagnosed for a long time until it is very advanced. The National Kidney Foundation aims to improve kidney disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment! And one of the most effective ways of doing so is by spreading educational resources and awareness to the public.
Did you know that in the United States, kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death? Did you know that approximately 31 million people in this country have chronic kidney disease? And did you know that African Americans are 3 times more likely to experience kidney failure?
March is Kidney Month and it’s a perfect time to learn more about this vital organ. Visit the National Kidney Foundation at kidney.org to educate yourself. If you are inclined, donate to their cause or check out the American Kidney Fund.
Child Life Month
The Association of Child Life Professionals has partnered with organizations such as What You Give Will Grow, Starlight Children’s Foundation, Disney, and Hope for Henry Foundation to celebrate the significant work of child life specialists.
If you have had the experience of working with or interacting with the dedicated physicians, nurses, care partners, residents, volunteers and staff that take care of pediatric patients, you know the important work they are doing each and every day.
It is important to show appreciation for the people in our community that take care of our children when they are most vulnerable.
If you are interested in learning more or donating to this cause, check out childlife.org.
Any way you can educate yourself and others on these topics and issues that so often go overlooked will help make the world such a better place! The more you can do (volunteer, spread awareness, and start conversations), the better! But if you are short on time, donating to these worthy causes is always appreciated.
Have a happy March! Let’s spring forward into this new season with a generous heart and an open mind!