I was incredibly honored to write a guest blog post for the FPIES Foundation about how the Awareness Critters came about and my hopes for how they can impact families and the future of the project.
Scattered in between some really horrific articles and posts flooding my newsfeed, there have been more and more posts about safety pins starting to trickle in. You can read more about this symbol and how it came about in this the article. The meaning of the safety pin boils down to a very tangible safety. "I am a safe person", I will stand beside you, walk with you, talk to you, and help to defend you.
In a time when many of us, no matter which "side" we were on when it came to voting, are struggling to find a way to express to those around us, strangers and loved ones alike, that we are still who they thought we were. That we are safe. That even though it might feel like the world is changing in a rapid and unpredictable way, that we are still going to love and respect our family, friends and strangers alike. The safety pin can be that symbol.
Yesterday, I put on my safety pin, and the Awareness Critters did too.
One last note, with this symbol comes responsibility. You are pledging to those around you to be a safe person. Think about how you are going to respond or help to de-escalate situations if/when you encounter them. Think about how you plan to respond if you are alone, with a group, or with your children. There are several good articles and posts talking about this very topic "So you want to wear a safety pin" and the wonderful illustrations by Marie-Shirine Yener, on what to do if you witness anti-Muslim harassment, but it can work in many situations.
This is not to in anyway dissuade you or your family from wearing safety pins, but to make sure you know think about the true meaning and significance of what it can me if you do put them on.
My Facebook feed is filled with angry, scared, mean, sad, and a few happy people after this election. I have my own opinions and thoughts about all of this but the biggest one is that we need more kindness in this country and this world. So instead of "Go Vote" I changed the painting to say "Be Kind"... Please be kind to each other, always but right now especially, reach out to those in pain and afraid, stand up to those who are being cruel or hateful, most of all, just love each other!
Harriet the Hedgehog loves to pick wild flowers with her friend Sarah the Sparrow in the springtime. She also loves showing off her new insulin pump and the special belt her mama made for her. Harriet the hedgehog has Type 1 Diabetes and her family and doctor decided that an insulin pump is the best choice for her health.
JDRF is linked with this Critter: http://www.jdrf.org/
Welcome our newest Critters, Eva and PopPop Otter. They are Awareness Critters for Pancreatic Cancer. It is perfect timing, since on top of November being a lovely time of the year when the weather changes and turns colder, it is also Pancreatic Awareness month. So help spread the awareness about this aggressive and nasty rare cancer. If you would like to read more about Eva and PopPop's story head on over to their page!