Thanks to media coverage, national promotion and now being able to purchase teal pumpkins at craft stores, food allergy awareness is increasing. Despite the growing popularity of the project, I often hear from many parents each year “we didn’t see any teal pumpkins when trick-or-treating.”
So, how do we, food allergy families and advocates, get others to participate? Remember that we are the driving force for this project. Tell people about it!
Often our assumption is that those without food allergies see all the media coverage and are encouraged to do it themselves. While this does happen at times, it's usually a personal connection that will motivate someone to participate in the project.
Here are some suggestions to encourage those in your neighborhood and community to take part in the Teal Pumpkin Project.
- Start with your family, closest friends and those that love your child. Those that recognize the challenges your child faces on a daily basis should be more than happy to participate in something that brings your child joy.
- Print teal pumpkin flyers and give them out to neighbors. Include a list of suggested items they could hand out instead of candy. Do this face to face, or share it electronically through your online neighborhood websites/networks.
- Use social media. Tell others why the Teal Pumpkin Project is important and how easy it is to show a little compassion for others.
- School: talk to your child’s teacher, party organizers, PTO/PTA, etc. Suggest the TPP as an inclusive addition to the traditional celebration.
- Community and church events: Think about what Halloween events take place in your city. Share the TPP with the planners (or better yet, offer to help with the planning). Church and other community events can be very receptive to finding ways to include all children in their event. Let the organizers know that participating in the TPP may increase the media coverage of their event. It’s a great marketing tool that can allow them to stand out from all the other Halloween activities.
- If you haven’t seen any local media covering TPP, contact them yourself. Share your Teal Pumpkin story with them.
As with any group of concerned people, we can make a difference when we all pitch in. Help promote compassion and understanding during this Halloween season.
What other strategies have you used to encourage others to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project?