We hope to see more neighbors in our communities getting involved with this project. We think it is a wonderful idea. We are already planning on ideas how to get the word out for next year, 2015.
The purpose of the Teal Pumpkin Project:
1. We want to raise awareness of the severity of food allergies and show our support to families of children with food allergies by painting a pumpkin teal in recognition. This is a great opportunity to educate and open communication about this important cause.
2. We want to encourage inclusion for children with food allergies and other dietary restrictions during an activity that is primarily food-focused. A teal pumpkin (or poster) is a great way to show that you have non-food treats available.
It is not our goal to exclude candy from the Halloween tradition but instead encourage others to add a new tradition to ALSO provide a few non-food items as a safe alternative. This will allow many children the opportunity to participate in traditional trick-or-treating on Halloween night, regardless of food-related disabilities.
We need to stop battling on social media –
I encourage everyone to participate in this project with the understanding that this is not a campaign to ban candy nor is it a means to politicize an awareness movement that is simply intended to promote compassion and inclusion. Stay positive and reflect compassion in your own actions and words. We cannot create an inclusive environment for our children by creating more division.
Here are some tips to keep this awareness movement going strong:
1. Talk to your neighbors. Many parents have contacted their neighborhood associations or community boards to encourage participation in this project. If your neighborhood uses a site like nextdoor.com then this is a great way to reach out.
2. Talk to local businesses. There are so many opportunities available for businesses and organizations to be involved, even if they are not passing out treats. Print a copy of the Project Teal Pumpkin (our profile picture) and ask if those establishments will display the sign to show support. If treats will be passed out, ask if they would also provide non-food items as an alternative and provide a copy of the Project Teal sign that indicates non-food treats are available. Do you have a local farm or nursery that could provide teal pumpkins?
3. Talk to your child’s teacher, guidance counselor or school administration. This is a wonderful opportunity to teach children about the importance of inclusion, disability awareness, and/or food allergy safety. Encourage schools to take part in the #TealPumpkinProject and get their permission to hang signs or distribute information to other parents to rally more involvement in your community.
4. Talk to the media. Awareness is at its peak right now in many areas so this is your opportunity to educate the general public in a POSITIVE and informed manner. Know the purpose of the project and how this show of support will encourage respect, compassion, inclusion for children with dietary restrictions, like food allergies. For more information, please visit FACET’s website (Link in the comments below).
We’d love to hear from you! Please comment below to share your ideas and success stories so far with the #TealPumpkinProject …
Thank you for your ongoing support of our awareness efforts!
Becky Basalone – creator of the Teal Pumpkin Project
Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee
We are giving a shout out to FARE for the marketing this wonderful idea. Can not wait to see how much it grows in the years to come.
One of our ideas next year is to send more information to our local schools, and even send teal pumpkins with classmates.
Did you get involve with the Teal Pumpkin this past Halloween?