Awareness Months November Awareness Socially Sparked!

November Ignites Awareness for Diabetes, Giving Tuesday +

November ignites awareness for Diabetes, Giving Tuesday, Health, Writing and more. We give thanks this month on Thanksgiving Day and Giving Tuesday, but November is also host to many more wonderful awareness observances in the health, arts and social arenas.

Health observances include National Diabetes Awareness Month and No-Shave November. Social issue initiatives include Adaption Awareness Month and Native American Heritage Month. And, in the Arts arena, November sparks a spotlight on National Novel Writing Month. Show your love; support your cause and be an Agent of Change!

november ignites awarenessNATIONAL DIABETES MONTH is observed every November so individuals, health care professionals, organizations, and communities across the country can bring attention to diabetes and its impact on millions of Americans.

This year, the National Diabetes Education Program theme is: Managing Diabetes – It’s Not Easy, But It’s Worth It. This theme highlights the importance of managing diabetes to prevent diabetes-related health problems such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, vision loss, and amputation. The theme also serves as a reminder to people who may be struggling with the demands of managing diabetes that they are not alone.

More than 30 million people in the United States have diabetes, but 1 out of 4 of them don’t know they have it.

– There are three main types of diabetes:  type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant, which can put the pregnancy and baby at risk and lead to type 2 diabetes later).

WORLD DIABETES DAY – November 14th. World Diabetes Day (WDD) is celebrated annually on November 14. Led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006.

The theme for WDD 2017 is Women and Diabetes. The campaign will promote the importance of affordable and equitable access for all women at risk for or living with diabetes to the essential diabetes medicines and technologies, self-management education and information they require to achieve optimal diabetes outcomes and strengthen their capacity to prevent type 2 diabetes.

There are currently over 199 million women living with diabetes and this total is projected to increase to 313 million by 2040. Gender roles and power dynamics influence vulnerability to diabetes, affect access to health services and health seeking behavior for women, and amplify the impact of diabetes on women. — International Diabetes Federation


november ignites awarenessNO-SHAVE NOVEMBER. Every November, this web-based nonprofit organization hosts a month-long campaign, where participants skip shaving and grooming for the entire month in order to stimulate conversation and raise cancer awareness and funds for prevention, research and education.

The goal of No-Shave November is to grow awareness by embracing your hair — which many cancer patients lose — and letting it grow wild and free. The money usually spent on grooming can then be donated to the cause.

If you don’t want to be hairy for the month, you can still show your love for this worthy cause by supporting a friend who is partaking.

november ignites awareness
Image Courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH (NaNoWriMo) – One of my favorite observances. Held every November since 1999, this nonprofit sparks the creative writing gene in us all — empowering and encouraging vibrant creativity around the world.

On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.


november ignites awarenessNATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH  Also referred to as American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month also aims to educate the general public about tribes, to raise awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.

Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is the oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization serving the broad interests of tribal governments and communities.


november ignites awarenessGIVING TUESDAY. November 28th.  Now in its sixth year, this awareness initiative is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. Since its inaugural year in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year and a growing catalog of resources.

november ignites awarenessNovember is a very giving time of the year. We have lots to give thanks for and what better time than during the annual Thanksgiving holiday. So many causes, observances and creative challenges this month. — Abbe is Socially Sparked™ Tweet @sosparkednews & @asparks01

Awareness Months June Awareness Latest News Socially Sparked!

June Shines on Environment, Summer Fests +






June shines awareness on Environment, Summer Fests, Gay Pride and more. It’s the month to celebrate the official onset of Summer — fathers, weddings and events galore.  Here are five top June Events to know.


5 Top June Summer Events to Know




June Shines Awareness

National Safety Month (NSC) — Each year in June, the National Safety Council focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities. Thousands of organizations work together annually to raise awareness on what it takes to keep each other safe. Each week of the month will focus on a different safety topic. Week 1: Stand Up to Falls; Week 2: Recharge to Be In Charge (Focusing on Fatigue); Week 3: Prepare for Active Shooters; Week 4: Don’t Just Sit There (Focusing on Ergonomics) and for its members: Road Safety for Workers. #nationalsafetymonth



June Shines AwarenessWORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY* — Held annually since 1972 on the 5th of June, World Environment Day is the biggest annual event for positive environmental action. The theme is always selected by the host country who, in 2017 is Canada. The theme: Connecting People to Nature – implores us to get outdoors and into nature – to appreciate its beauty and its importance, and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we share.  There are many ways to celebrate the Day:


-Join the Global Album: take a photo or video of your fave place in nature and use #WorldEnvironmentalDay or #WithNature

Explore Nature: Go outside, discover species in your everyday world using iNaturalist

Plan an Outdoor Activity: Celebrate with a picnic, a group cleanup, a walk in the park, a swim. There are countless activities to choose.

To find events in your city or country, visit: Celebrate Together



June Shines Awareness. Photo: Ellie Pritz
Photograph: Ellie Pritz

GAY AND LESBIAN (LGBT) PRIDE MONTH – a/k/a Gay, Lesbian, Sexual and Transgender Pride Month. Gay Pride or LGBT Pride is a worldwide movement asserting that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity. The three main messages are: (1) people should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity; (2) sexual diversity is a gift, and (3) sexual orientation and gender identity are inherent and cannot be intentionally altered. .

The month was chosen to remember the 1969 riot at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar on famed Christopher Street in Manhattan.  On June 28,1970, the first march commemorating the anniversary of the riot took place in NYC – the first of its kind in the United States.  Many claim that the Stonewall Inn Riot marked the beginning of the gay liberation movement in the US.

Each city holds its own festivities and selects its own themes and dates to celebrate. You can find pride parades, marches, picnics, parties, memorials for those lost from HIV and AIDS, and other group gathering events that attract countless thousands of individuals. Three of the biggest cities — New York City, Chicago and San Francisco are all holding many events with parades and/or marches on June 25  Check your local community listings or the Pride Events website for LGBT Pride events happening near you.



June Shines AwarenessSUMMER FESTIVALS – June marks the official onset of summer and well before the summer solstice on June 21, festival season is in high gear.  From arts & crafts, to dance to music; from food, to hot-air balloons to air shows, you will find a festival to tickle your fancy. Families, individuals, couples and the like, there is a summer fest for everyone. Some of the largest free festivals include:

Artscape, July 21-July 23, Baltimore, MD – America’s largest free arts festival, attracting over 350,000 attendees over three days. Featuring: more than 150 fine artists, fashion designers and craftspeople; visual art exhibits on and off-site, live concerts on outdoor stages; a full schedule of performing arts; and family events.

SummerStage, May thru October, Central Park, NYC –  the largest free performing arts festival in New York City.  Featuring: artists and genres that reflect the diverse cultures and communities in neighborhood parks across the five boroughs — from the iconic to the avant-garde, from opera to hip-hop, film to circus–and everything in between.

Chicago Air & Water Show, August 19-20, Chicago, IL – This air and water show is one of the largest free shows of its kind in the United States, taking place each year at Chicago’s lakefront at North Avenue Beach. Featuring: l a wide variety of military and civilian aerial demonstration teams with daredevil pilots performing their stunts in the skies above Past headliners included the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights.


FATHER’S DAY – Perhaps the biggest festival of all – paying homage to dads everywhere.  Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads around the world!  Enjoy!


June’s offerings do run the gamut from important cause events to Summertime festival fun. Happy June! – Abbe Sparks @asparks01



* Disclaimer: Use of the United Nations Environment Programme World Environment Day logo does not imply an endorsement by the United Nations Environment Programme of the user, its goods, services or activities, or the content of its website or linked sites or the accuracy of the information, opinions or statements provided therein

Latest News RFPalooza

The Month That Binds

Sports and Music. Kareem Abdul Jabar and Curtis Mayfield. What do they have in common?


In Any Given Month…

Cause Marketing Awareness months offer marketers and PR practitioner’s a huge business opportunity to boost sales. They have become a powerful marketing tool. Here’s how it works. Cause marketers capitalize on a designated month for their organization, brand marketers align their client’s brands with the cause’s corresponding target audiences and marketing campaigns, and, together, the aligned organizations promote the cause..

Pick a Month, Any Month

In today’s marketplace, each month has been claimed by a cause(s) and, in some cases, several weeks in each month. January has Martin Luther King’s Birthday, pushing civil rights; February is Black History Month, Presidents Day and Valentine’s Day, March has Women’s History Month and St. Patrick’s Day, April is Autism Awareness Month and Earth Day, May’s Arthritis Month, June has LGBT Pride Month, July is UV Safety Month, August is Medic Alert Awareness Month; September is Suicide Awareness Month; October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month; November has Diabetes, Parkinson’s and TBI, and December is the month of holidays.

In any given month, thousands of corporations across the country focus their marketing initiatives around Cause-Related months. Companies will promote the cause, and diversity efforts, increase their ad spend among “segmented” media, host specific Month-themed special events, and donate millions of dollars to well-deserving nonprofit and community organizations.

Marketers, companies and entertainment entities capitalize on the annual observances as in February’s Black History Month with special marketing efforts for selling products and events

Adidas and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have teamed up to release a special collection of shoes to celebrate Black History Month. Limited editions of NBA stars Derrick Rose, Damian Lillard and John Wall’s shoes – coated with inspirational quotes – pay homage to Jabbar’s career. The three superstar guards each began playing in the shoes on Martin Luther King Day. They will also be worn in select games in the month of February. Add a cause to the mix and you’re golden. Some of the proceeds from the shoes will go to Jabbar’s Skyhook Foundation.

Reginald Torian is kicking off his new revue in conjunction with Black History Month

Entertainment entities use “awareness months” to boost ticket sales as with the world premiere of Reginald Torian, Sr.’s “All Things Mayfield Revue.” Premiering January31st, the company is billing the show as a kick-off to Black History Month — a fitting tie since the lyrics of Curtis Mayfield still strongly resonatetoday as in decades past.February is just the jumpstart to marketing the show, which plans to travel to New York, Atlanta and Detroit later this year. And, in June for Black Music Month, the musical revue will be broadcast on a public radio station.

Adidas and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have teamed up to release a special collection of shoes to celebrate Black History Month.

So, remember, when focusing your brand’s or company’s marketing around an awareness month to think longer term – yes, it’s about generating a greater market share among a consumer base that is extremely brand loyal, but overall — It’s about business and what makes sense year-round in the overall marketing plan.

Have a wonderful Wednesday. – AS


Awareness Months October Awareness

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Support Breast Cancer Awareness this October. Wear Pink, donate or help spread the word! 

Here’s a few more organizations you can support:


Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Stand Up to Cancer

Be Part of the Cure

Breast Cancer Awareness Month (WHO)


March Awareness

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal Cancer is Preventable: Spread the Word

Colon Cancer Alliance - Inform. Prevent. Support.

In February 2000, President Clinton officially dedicated March as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Since then, it has grown to be a true rallying point for the colon cancer community. Every year, thousands of patients, survivors, caregivers and advocates throughout the country join together to spread colon cancer awareness by wearing blue, holding fundraising and education events, talking to friends and family about screening and so much more. See photos from years past and learn how you can get involved this March!