#21 Days To FASDay – Wisdom of Hopi Elders

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for…”

is a phrase that reflects the fact that we can
count on only ourselves for leadership.
See The Great River message 
from the Hopi Elders that follows.

The Great River

We have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.
Now you must go back and tell the people that this is The Hour.
And there are things to be considered.

Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in the right relation?
Where is your water?

Know your garden.

It is time to speak your truth:
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader:
This could be a good time!
There is a river flowing now very fast.
It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.
They will try to hold onto the shore.
They will feel they are being torn apart and they will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination.
The elders say we must let go of the shore, and push off into the river, keep our eyes open, and our head above the water.
See who is in there and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally. Least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over.
Gather yourselves!
Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.
All that you do now must be done in a sacred manner… and in celebration.
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for…

The Elders, Hopi Nation, Oraibi, Arizona

#23 Days To FASDay – Host a drop in event

So easy….

Host your own drop in event.

offer coffee and cookies on FASD Awareness Day
Simply send out an invite to your clients, friends and family.

Sample Invitation

FASD Awareness Day –
Owen Sound Drop In Event
September 09

Organization: Children’s Aid Society
Wednesday, September 9

Children’s Aid Society
1290 3rd Ave E,
Owen Sound

2:00 – 4:30 pm

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is the most common birth defect in the industrialized world causing permanent damage to the developing brain of one in every one hundred babies born in North America.Join us for this drop-in event, which will include refreshments, networking, education, awareness, and advocacy for those with FASD.

For more information contact:

#28 Days To FASDay – An easy FASDay Plan

Yes! You and one friend can do something!

Easy Plan – The Foolproof FAS Day Formula
Sit down with paper and pen. If you have one or two other key people to work with, print up copies of this manual, and invite them to join you. Give them some time to read it, and then answer the following questions:

  • Who is chairing this event?
  • Who can we count on to help out?
  • What kind of help can they give us?
  • Who do we know will want to attend?
  • Potential attendees — what other people and organizations in the community do we want to reach? (Start with interested friends and family members, and professionals –doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc. – that you know. Then add people who should be interested: e.g., local municipal, state/provincial and federal politicians, agencies with an interest in FAS, school personnel, etc.)
  • How many people can we reasonably expect to attend?
  • Will we require child care?
  • Where should we hold this event?
  • Who are our best local media contacts to promote this event and the FAS issue?

1. Confirm location.
Once you’ve decided how many people are likely to attend, choose your location. Try to find a reasonably-sized meeting room with comfortable seating, and a convenient area to serve coffee, tea, juice, and snacks.
2. How to Obtain a FAS Day Proclamation
If you want civic and state FAS Day proclamations, find out the appropriate name to write to, and do this immediately. You’ll find a boiler-plate letter plus sample proclamations in this document. (Note: Canada’s provincial governments are not likely to issue proclamations.)
3. Planning the Video Premiere — Plus
The program is a simple one, but you’re going to need to make some choices.
Who will be M.C.? Choose the most articulate person in your group, or try for a local personality who could be sympathetic to your cause – e.g., a TV or radio broadcaster or local entertainment figure.

  • Will you use the Invocation, and if so, who will read it?
  • Will you ask your mayor or a municipal counsellor to read the Proclamation?
  • How will you observe the worldwide “Minute of Reflection” at 9:09 a.m.? e.g., will someone ring a bell nine times?
  • Or will you say a prayer, sing a song, have someone play a musical instrument, or have simple silence?
  • Will you have a keynote speaker following the video, and if so, who?
  • Or will you have a panel discussion? Your panel could include a birth parent, a foster or adoptive parent, an articulate survivor of FAS/FAE and a professional (teacher, doctor or nurse, psychologist or social worker, knowledgeable lawyer or judge, etc.)
  • Will you add music to the mix – possibly a live musician?
  • Would you like to close with the poem, “The Integrity of Hope,” by Michael Kami? And if so, who will read it?

4. Invitations and flyersWe’ve enclosed a sample invitation and 2 sample flyer/posters. Ask your committee members to come up with names of people to invite, and make a master list, which can be used in 2001. To save on postage, you may want to e-mail and fax many of your invitations, but make sure to follow up with a personal phone call. The invitation contains a RSVP: whose number will invitees call?
5. Breakfast Food and Drink
Easy does it. Muffins and/or bagels, cheese or cream cheese optional, possibly some cut-up melon or citrus fruit, coffee, tea and fruit juice, cream/milk and sugar. Possibly a local retailer or coffee shop may be willing to make a donation. If you’re tight for cash, possibly a local service club or church will help. Will you need storage or refrigeration or help setting up tables? Do you have enough electric coffeemakers?
6. Other equipment
Make sure your video equipment is adequate well in advance of Sept. 9.

  • Is your VCR working?
  • Is your TV set or monitor large enough for the size of group you expect?
  • If you’re expecting two dozen people or more, you may need two or more monitors hooked up to one VCR: this can be done easily with a splitter. Most audio-visual specialty stores can show you how it’s done.
  • If more people than you expect turn up, simply hold two screening sessions. One group snacks and chats while the other group watches the video. Then they trade places.
    Your alternative is to rent a video projector and screen from a company specializing in video display or presentation rentals. This will cost about $250-$300 per day, and you will need to darken the room. Some colleges and universities have this equipment in screening rooms.

7. Media RelationsYou’ll find a sample media release, ready for you to personalize with local information. Make a list of all of the members of the media you would like to reach, particularly those whom you know personally. You should also prepare a list of individuals who are knowledgeable about FAS, and willing to talk to the media. These might include participants on your panel – parents, people with FAS, and professionals. The media release can be faxed, but make sure you have a person who will make follow-up phone calls. You will also need a media contact for any members of the press, radio or TV who want to know more.
8. OtherBells and carillons around the world will be ringing nine times at 9:09 a.m. in the international Bell Concordance, to remind the world that during the nine months of pregnancy, a woman should not consume alcohol. If there is a church bell in your community, you may want to speak to the minister or priest, to ask if it is rung manually. If so, we suggest you photocopy the material from the FASworld Report regarding the Bell Concordance, or download and print it from the website http://www.come-over.to/FASDAY/manual.htm , and invite the church to join in. If you live in a city which is lucky enough to have a carillon, get the name of the carillonneur and do the same. Gerald Martindale, carillonneur at Toronto’s Metropolitan United Church geraldm@planeteer.com> is building on last year’s concert of international lullabies and would be pleased to share this with other international carillonneurs.

  • Make sure you have a guest book easily accessible as guests enter or leave. It would be useful to have someone stationed to remind people to sign the guest book and hand out FAS Knots as your guests arrive.
  • The FAS awareness symbol, the FAS Knot can be easily made for about 8 cents each. They can be given away, sold for about $2-3 each, or you can simply have a cash box available for donations. Complete information on the FAS Knot can be found at www.come-over.to/FASDAY/manual.htm
    FAS Knots and the guest book can be placed on an information table, with other available material. The table can also include petitions your group wishes to support.

For suggestions for both U.S. and Canadian petitions, e-mail Bonnie Buxton at ogrady@axxent.ca.
For suggestions on posters and printed material you can download yourself, check out the website

#39 Days To FASDay – USA FASDay Resolution – Yeah!

August 1, 2012 the Senate approved, by unanimous consent….

On August 1, the Senate approved, by unanimous consent, a resolution (S. Res. 536) recognizing September 9, 2012, as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day.
The resolution, sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) includes several findings:

• The term “fetal alcohol spectrum disorders” includes a broader range of conditions than the term “fetal alcohol syndrome” and has replaced the term “fetal alcohol syndrome” as the umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother consumed alcohol during her pregnancy;

• Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are the leading cause of cognitive disability in Western civilization, including the United States, and are 100 percent preventable;

• Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are a major cause of numerous social disorders, including learning disabilities, school failure, juvenile delinquency, homelessness, unemployment, mental illness, and crime;

• In February 1999, a small group of parents with children who suffer from fetal alcohol spectrum disorders united to promote awareness of the devastating consequences of alcohol consumption during pregnancy by establishing International Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness Day; and

• On the ninth day of the ninth month of each year since 1999, communities around the world have observed International Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness Day.

The resolution calls upon people in the United States to “observe National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day” with ceremonies and events that “promote awareness of the effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol; increase compassion for individuals affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol; minimize the effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol; and ensure healthier communities across the United States.”

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#47 Days To FASDay – Host a mini-event non-alcoholic drink ideas

Organize a Mind Mapping Meeting.

If you have community interest and commitment already and want to move forward, and want to do more than just a one-day media event, then you are ready to follow the Prince George’s Northern Family Health Society model for community action.

If this is too overwhelming, then stick to something simple and easy, like the last idea here:

Host a Mini FASD Awareness Campaign!
This is great for the office – yours or your doctor’s – or any reception area that will give you permission. Just a bowl of Snickers mini bars and some FASD Fact Cards are all you need. Details here.



This set of words means different things to different people.

To a pregnant woman,
it means that she chooses not to drink for the health of her baby.
To a doctor,
it means sifting through information to come to a correct diagnosis.
To a teacher,
it means learning to look at behaviors in a different way.
To a parent or caregiver,
it means trying new things and reaching out for help.
To a couple planning a pregnancy,
it means thinking ahead and avoiding alcohol.
To a pregnant woman with alcoholism,
it means courage to ask for help.
To a community,
it means responding with compassion, understanding and new eyes.

  • Baby Love Activities  BRAND NEW: BABYLOVE PRESENTATION for middle / high school students! (Includes powerpoint with facilitator’s notes and two optional video links, and three optional handouts / activities.)                

  • Advocacy Guidebooks  These two advocacy guidebooks can be filled out by parents / caregivers, then given to new therapists, teachers, etc. (They are identical, except one references FASD, while the other only mentions “brain differences”.)


  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration funds the FASD Center for Excellence, a clearinghouse for FASD resources and materials: http://www.fasdcenter.samhsa.gov/index.cfm
  • The National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is dedicated to eliminating birth defects caused by alcohol consumption during pregnancy and to improving the quality of life for affected families and individuals:    http://www.nofas.org/

Online Manual – www.fasday.com
Seminar – Or try our easy, effective, exciting 1½ hour program that walks you
 through the morning of Sept.9: http://www.come-over.to/FASDAY/ABCDEFG/ 
(material from 2002 has excellent ideas)

Follow us through the next 60 days and plan your local or personal project to build awareness of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder – Each One Can Reach One!

Need family support visit www.toolboxparent.com
Need ideas for adults living with challenges of FASD visit www.braidedcord.net
Need information on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders visit www.betterendings.org
Interested in service dog for FASD visit www.thechancerchronicles.com