Could there be a more effective way to convey support and awareness than through the simple display of an inexpensive ribbon tied to a car, tree, or telephone pole? Doubtful. Although colorful and bright, more often than not; Cause Awareness Ribbons represent a struggle, a fight, or void. The very symbol of someone’s heartfelt battle. We have learned to show our support by displaying the image of the appropriate ribbons on shirts, lapel pins, and much more. But what does it all mean?

1- A little bit of history.

The first ribbons that were represented as meaningful objects in history were the tokens given to knights during the Middle Ages in Europe. Soon after,  the yellow ribbon came from the Puritan Army during the English Civil War. From there, it spread to the Americas, where the Army of the United States became associated with it.

We still use the yellow ribbon to show our military support today!

2-Year of the ribbon.

In 1991 a red ribbon (originally a rainbow-colored ribbon) was chosen by an American based activist group in New York and eventually became the official symbol for AIDS awareness. The red ribbon symbolizes compassion for people living with HIV and AIDS as well as for their caregivers. In the fall of the same year, The Susan G. Komen Foundation handed out pink ribbons to the participants of the New York City race for breast cancer survivors. In the following months, the pink ribbon was chosen as the official symbol for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The widespread popularity of both the red ribbon for AIDS and the pink ribbon for breast cancer eventually led to the New York Times declaring 1992 as the “The Year of the Ribbon.”

Awareness Ribbons have been making statements for nearly three decades-that’s quite a statement itself!

3-Most recognized.

The most recognized Awareness Ribbons are as follows: Pink – Breast Cancer; Yellow – Military Forces; Red – HIV/AIDS, Drug Abuse, Heart Disease; Puzzle – Autism; Purple – LGBT Bullying and Suicide Prevention, Testicular Cancer, Domestic Violence, Lupis, Cystic Fibrosis, Pancreatic Cancer; White – Lung Cancer; Blue – Peace, Colon Cancer; Navy – Bullying; Orange – Leukemia, Multiple Sclerosis, Kidney Cancer, ADHD; Light Blue/Sky Blue – Prostate Cancer; Gray – Diabetes, Brain Cancer; Black – Mourning, Melanoma; Green – Mental Health, Cerebral Palsy, Celiac Disease, Lyme Disease, Environmental Protection; Teal – Cervical, Ovarian and Uterine Cancers, Sexual Assault and Violence
Gold – Childhood Cancer; Silver – Parkinson’s Disease, Brain Disorders/Disabilities; Red, White and Blue – Shooting at Millard South High School, 09/11.

Who knew color could be so powerful?

4-Power in numbers.

Everyone knows someone (or is that someone) who is struggling with an illness or battling something much larger than ourselves. There are fundraisers to be held, races to be run, and promotional products to be distributed. There is power in numbers. And numbers bring awareness. And awareness brings funds. And funds bring cures.

Never fear to take a stand for something you believe in. That’s the only way to make a change.

5-Plan ahead.

Try to start the planning process of your Awareness event about 2 months ahead of time. This gives you plenty of time to order awareness products like magnets, pens, tumblers, and t-shirts in time to distribute them in the weeks leading up to the event(s). A Cause Awareness Ribbon promotional product conveys support and thoughtfulness in one product.

No matter what you support or empathize with, there’s a Cause Awareness Ribbon.

And for every Cause Awareness Ribbon, there’s a promotional product that’s right for it!