Today was a great day! I had attended the health fair in Indiana and had a booth on food allergies. While most of us realize that there is such an abundant amount of information, supports, etc on food allergies; I was having a tug a war of what to have at my booth, what I wanted the message to be, and what this specific audience needed. The overall need is education and awareness. Thanks to FAAN, I had a great amount of information to post on Allergy Awareness Week this coming week and then I had some great brochures, recipes, books, and just information on statistics and how and why food allergies have changed so much since 1996. Overall, I would give information and the “speech” to the person at my booth based on who they were. For example, for elderly individuals without children/grandchildren with food allergies, I would give the options and awareness about family gatherings and how to keep them safe when dealing with nieces/nephews with food allergies. For parents just getting started with food allergies with their children, I would give them “introductory” packets with tons of resources and information. For teachers or school officials, it was the speech on school safe peanut butter and the unfairness of separating our children from their peers during social time. Overall, I was extremely empowered, moved, emotional, and ready to move to the next event for additional education and awareness. The thing that I loved the most and the new found insight to myself was while I use the word “speech”, everything was completely coming out of me in such a natural and supportive way. I get that everyone doesn’t get it, but it’s my job to assist them in getting it. Also, I was asked by several other groups there to come and present to their daycares, schools, and other programs that deal with children. This is exciting. The word is spreading.
My next great and exciting news is I have now my first advocating item on my check list (see previous post) checked off. I went to Sassy Treats, our new bakery in town and was greeted with support, understanding, and open-mindedness. They stated that they would post a sign that states that they do offer allergy friendly treats! One change at a time!
And, one last note, I do apologize to not getting back with everyone from my advocating to do list, but THANK YOU SO, SO MUCH for your advice and supports! It is appreciated and used!