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By APRIL WINEBARGER
One hundred sixty-seven.
According to easilyamused.org, that's how many different cause awareness months are recognized in different parts of the United States. Although this is not an official list, this number shows one reason why cause awareness months are ineffective: There are too many.
Cause months sound, in essence, like a good idea: raising awareness about problems that affect a large portion of people. However, with so many different causes, who could keep track?
“It’s confusing,” said Taylor Graham, junior at Elizabethtown High School. “I know that October is breast cancer, but that’s the only one I remember.”
October is also National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and National Dental Hygiene Month, among others.
Elizabethtown High School recognized Domestic Violence month through the Green Dot program, but Down Syndrome and Dental Hygiene were not mentioned. If there are so many awareness topics per month, why are they not better publicized?
Some causes seem rather silly. Is ‘National Iced Tea Month’ really necessary? Do peanuts need to be recognized with an awareness month?
“I think cause months should be combined,” said Heather Butler, also a junior at EHS. “Like, one month is cancer, all cancers. Everything can be broken down into 12 general causes.”
If cause months are combined and each month has one specific spotlight, all diseases, disorders, and opinions can be recognized without leading to confusion about when is the right time to celebrate what. Schools can create programming to acknowledge all months, without leaving anything out.
“I guess it gets the word out some,” Elisabeth Hinkle, a senior at EHS said. “I honestly don’t know much about it though. I don’t even know what month is breast cancer awareness.”
This reveals another problem with cause months: for awareness to increase, awareness of awareness months needs to increase. Never fear, however.
February is National Awareness Month Awareness Month.
April Winebarger is a junior at Elizabethtown High School.