The New Year brings the start of a new awareness campaign calendar, which encompasses days, weeks and entire months dedicated to different important causes across the globe. The awareness events calendar has also extended into less serious arenas, with unofficial days dedicated to everything from our favorite foods, fun workplace events to the celebration of the arts, history and even our loved ones (see National Spouse Day under the January day listing section).
January Awareness MONTHS
National Blood Donor Month
American Red Cross
Make the resolution to give in a way that can literally save lives this year, by giving blood during National Blood Donor Month and throughout the year. Celebrated every January, the American Red Cross urges people to donate blood and recognizes the lifesaving contribution of all donors.
National Blood Donor Month was established in 1970 with the goal to increase blood and platelet donations during winter, which is one of the lowest periods of donor activity due to bad weather affecting blood drives, and colds and flus making many donors ineligible for donation.
Become a lifesaving donor this month, and continue to give as often as you can. Blood and platelet donors are needed year-round and not just when donations are low.
National Birth Defects Prevention Month
NCBDDD, Center for Disease Control and Prevention
While birth defects cannot be prevented completely, women can decrease their risk by adopting healthy behaviors – and this starts before even becoming pregnant. That’s why January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month. Its goal is to raise awareness of birth defects, their causes and the steps women can take to increase their chances of having a healthy baby.
From being at a healthy weight before getting pregnant, to eating a balanced diet and taking the right supplements during pregnancy, regular check-ups, and of course avoiding harmful substances, there are a number of ways women can reduce the risk of birth defects.
Glaucoma Awareness Month
Glaucoma Research Foundation
Glaucoma affects more than three million people in the United States, a number that is projected to increase to 4.3 million by 2030 according to the National Eye Institute. It is the leading cause of irreversible blindness, but the even scarier part is that most people don’t even know they have it until after vision loss has occurred. Glaucoma has no symptoms, and the Glaucoma Research Foundation says that a person can lose up to 40% of their vision without noticing.
This is why raising awareness about glaucoma is so important. During Glaucoma Awareness Month, the Glaucoma Research Foundation asks you to become informed about glaucoma, talk to your friends and family, and get involved in your community through fundraisers, information sessions, and more.
Cervical Health Awareness Month
National Cervical Cancer Coalition
Designated by the United States Congress as Cervical Health Awareness Month, January is the time to get involved and help the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC) raise awareness about the importance of cervical health. Cervical Cancer is preventable with HPV vaccination and regular screenings, both of which the NCCC works hard each January and throughout the year to raise awareness about within communities across the country.
Their website features information on how you can get involved this year, along with fact sheets, podcasts, and shareable social media content.
National Mentoring Month
The National Mentoring Partnership
The goal of National Mentoring Month is to raise awareness about the need for mentors and how everyone in our communities can work together to grow mentorship opportunities for young people. National Mentoring Month celebrates mentoring and the positive impact it can have on young people, and specifically aims to raise awareness about mentoring, recruit individuals to act as mentors, and engage with organizations to encourage involvement in mentoring.
Running since 2002, National Mentoring Month has strong support from the U.S. government and a host of well-known supporters. Visit their website to find out how you can get involved.
There are also a number of official – and unofficial – awareness days and national holidays held in January. Some are dedicated to highlighting serious issues such as human trafficking and leprosy, while others like National Peanut Butter Day, are just a bit of fun.
January Awareness Days & Holidays
New Year’s Day
Also unofficially observed as “National Hangover Day”
World Braille Day
National Human Trafficking Awareness Day
National Clean Off Your Desk Day
National Human Trafficking Awareness Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
This date also happens to be “Squirrel Appreciation Day”
National Handwriting Day
National Peanut Butter Day
National Spouses Day
International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust
World Leprosy Day
National Inspire Your Heart With Art Day
There are many ways to get involved with the awareness months and days happening in January. Whether you plan to donate time or money (or blood!), spread the word about important issues or celebrate one of the less serious awareness days, there is plenty on the calendar this month.