THE global success of the Ice Bucket Challenge highlights what you’ve got to do these days to stick out as a cause.
Get people to do wacky stuff on social media, go viral and hopefully raise something – in this case over $100million and counting for motor neurone disease.
You can see why you need a hook: The calendar is jampacked with national and international days, weeks and months of worthy things to support. You need a point of difference. Otherwise people may never even realise your thing exists, let alone support it.
Looking ahead to November (pinch and a punch people) it’s not going to get any less demanding. For many, November will mean Movember, that annual celebration of mankind’s uneven ability to grow facial hair. With any luck it also raises awareness of men’s health issues.
But November is also, according to ourcommunity.com.au, National Novel Writing Month, Asbestos Awareness Month, Lung Health Awareness Month and World Vegan Month (inspiring us to be kinder to the environment and animals, but not tofu).
I’m sure there are more, but you get my drift. Then there are the individual days and weeks nestled inside the months.
For instance, today is International Drug Users Day, raising awareness to address the needs of people who use drugs, which is pretty much everyone on the planet it seems, unless you’ve got Ebola.
The first Sunday of November kicks off National Others Week, where we are urged to commit some random act of kindness, which, depending on our writing talent, may mean dropping that novel.
November 5 is International Volunteer Manager’s Day where we thank all those efficient types that ‘enable’ and ‘facilitate’ all the things we action/escalate/volunteer for, and hope they stop talking like that.
November 6 is International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict. A little less killing/maiming would be good too.
November 7 is National Sunnies Day, a godsend after the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. It’s also Walk To Work Day.
Apparently people who do so are: a) more productive; b) healthier; and c) sweaty. According to the website they’re also ‘‘less likely to be absent’’, which seems like a gimme, otherwise they’d call it Nearly Walked To Work Day But Had A Sickie Instead.
November 9-15 is National Psychology Week as well as Spinal Injury Awareness Week, Australian Food Safety Week and National Adoption Awareness Week.
This is what you call a ‘‘Melbourne Cup backlog’’ because it can be hard getting peoples’ attention during the week a horse race stops a nation ... from caring about more important stuff.
November 10 is World Day for Peace and Development, heralding the International Week of Science and Peace. At the same time its National Recylcing Week.
November 11 is Remembrance Day, one of the biggies of ‘‘the days’’, marking the anniversary of the armistice which ended World War I and also highlighting the challenge ‘‘smaller days’’ face booking a date. On the same day, Dinesmart Day encourages people to add $2 to their dinner bills and hopefully help the homeless.
November 12 is WOW Day, where you’re encouraged to wear orange to support the SES; Thank U Nicu Day, celebrating Australian neonatal intensive care units; and World Pneumonia Day.
November 13 is World Kindness Day, as well as my mum’s birthday, so hopefully I can pull off a double-whammy there.
November 14 is World Diabetes Day.
November 15-23 is Schoolies Week, i.e. National End Of School Career Week. Luckily November 16 is International Day for Tolerance (but not for Toolies).
November 16 is also the day for the important and no-less-sexy-just-because-of-its-name World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Day, that is, emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
November 16-22 is Post Natal Depression Awareness Week, while November 17 is World Prematurity Day and World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.
November 19 is World Toilet Day, one close to the heart of anyone who’s back-packed the Third World.
November 20 is Universal Children’s Day as well as Africa Industrialisation Day. Fingers crossed one isn’t achieved by the other. November 20 is also Go Home On Time Day which urges Aussies not to work too much overtime. To help on that front perhaps, November 21 is World Television Day and World Philosophy Day.
November 23 is Buy Nothing Day, not even your partner’s excuse as to why you should cook that night.
November 25 sees a raft of days and a week combating violence against women – Orange Day, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and White Ribbon Day, slotting neatly into Social Inclusion Week (November 24 to 29).
November 25 is also the National Disability Awards Day, part of Australia’s celebrations for the International Day of People with Disability.
November 29 you can show international solidarity with the Palestinian People, before erasing your cookies in honour of International Computer Security Day on November 30.
So there you go – a lot of things to care about in one month. But if you can manage even just one, it’ll be better than going I Couldn’t Give A Fig 365 days of the year.