Thanks to FARE
The month of May is National Asthma and Allergy Month and since today is the first day of May I thought it would be the perfect time to thank Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) for everything they do.
FARE is an amazing company with support and resources for people with and without food allergies in hopes of educating all people.
I have been a FARE Teen Advisory Group Member (TAG) since 2014 (this is my 4th year as a member) and I attended the Teen Summit in Washington D.C. for the 9th and 10th anniversaries in 2014 and 2015 (my sophomore and junior years of high school). I also attended the local FARE Walks in 2014 and 2015 (also my sophomore and junior years of high school).
As a TAG Member I have been able to form connections with other teens across the country through email and our Facebook support groups. We work on projects together in hopes of educating our communities about food allergies.
I also met other teens with food allergies at the Teen Summits and I still try to keep in touch with the friends I made. Being in a room surrounded by teens who also all have food allergies is one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. I just remember being so happy and learning so much. I am so thankful I was able to go twice and hopefully someday I will get to go again.
I also went to the local FARE Walks with a club at school. They were fun days where the members in my club could learn about food allergies and really show their support by walking. Unfortunately this year it rained and we had to cancel our trip, so we were unable to go to the walk. I hope I will get to go next year and maybe even volunteer.
Then FARE launched the Teal Pumpkin Project in 2014 for Halloween. Trick or treating as a kid was always scary, but I was never scared of ghosts or bats, it was the candy. I wore gloves each year so when I picked candy I was not physically touching it. Then my parents would take my candy and we would usually donate it to soldiers. I never understood why everyone would get so excited to collect candy. With the start of the Teal Pumpkin Project I became more excited for Halloween then ever before. Participating houses would buy stickers or some other allergen safe items and put them in a separate bowl from the candy and place a sign outside of their house so you would know there was a non-food treat available. In 2014 I was not exactly a kid anymore, but it was still important to me knowing that other kids with food allergies could have the Halloween I never really had.
Each year for a week in May it is Food Allergy Awareness Week. This year is the 20th anniversary from May 14-20. There are many resources and activities to help us celebrate Food Allergy Awareness Week this year. You can find them here.
I really love FARE and everything they have to offer. I have had so many great experiences throughout the years. I am just so thankful for FARE.
Photo Credits: FARE 2017 Food Allergy Awareness Week