Every October, the entire country rallies around Breast Cancer Awareness month. There’s pink as far as the eye can see, and to be sure, working toward prevention, early detection and a cure is extremely important. The very pages you’re reading are, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, pink, and our news section hopefully gave you diverse stories and information about the fight to prevent and cure breast cancer. But breast cancer is just one of the many issues and conditions facing Americans, and October is actually the awareness month for several other important causes that could also use your financial donations.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Statistics say that 1 in 3 women will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime. According to United Nations statistics, women ages 15 to 44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria. Several Pittsburgh-area organizations deal with the issue, including the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh. www.wcspittsburgh.org
National Down Syndrome Awareness Month
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 7,000 babies is diagnosed with the condition yearly. The Down Syndrome Association of Pittsburgh provides support to new families coping with Down syndrome, and also provides resources to the Down Syndrome Center at Children’s Hospital. www.dsapgh.org
National Latino AIDS Awareness Day
Hispanic Heritage month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, and the final day is Latino AIDS Awareness Day. The day is meant for Latino communities to raise awareness of the disease, to encourage testing and to help those afflicted to stay in treatment. Donate to the Pittsburgh Aids Taskforce at www.patf.org.
World Food Day
Oct. 16 is a national day of action against hunger around the world. Events are planned for 4 p.m. Sun., Oct. 16, in Market Square, but you can always donate to local food pantries and kitchens. The Greater Pittsburgh Area Food Bank (www.pittsburghfoodbank.org) helps supply food pantries; donations can be made directly to these organizations as well, and the Food Bank has a searchable list of providers on its website.
Other conditions also marking an awareness month, week or day in October are:
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
National Dental Hygiene Month
Mental Illness Awareness Week, Oct. 2-8
National Stuttering Awareness Day, Oct. 22
Respiratory Care Week, Oct. 23-29