Each Alpha has the opportunity to channel their motivation and frustration into something positive — community outreach. You can make a difference in your own special way and contribute to the betterment of the Alpha-1 community.
Community outreach can occur in many different ways:
Start a Support Group
Peer support is vital to all Alphas and family members. You can share your experiences, learn from other Alphas and empower yourself to take charge of your health in a safe environment.
If there is no support group in your local area, please consider starting a group and becoming a support group leader. A support group leader's primary objective is to create a caring, supportive, non-judgmental atmosphere for Alphas to come together. A leader, along with help from others in the group, may set dates for meetings, organise a venue, determine topics for discussion, and/or arrange speakers for meetings.
You can also register for and participate in online discussion via the AAA's discussion forum.
Create Awareness in Your Community
November is Alpha-1 Awareness Month
Get ready to be active during the month of November! The Alpha-1 Association of Australia is asking the community to get involved in November to spread awareness about Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. There are many different ways you can participate and we encourage you to at least do one thing! Listed below are some suggested ways to spread awareness:
- Contact your local newspaper about Alpha-1 Awareness Month (November).
- Contact a news or health editor about Alpha-1 and your personal story.
- Interview with local TV / radio stations, eg. chat show.
- Place a Public Service Announcement with your local radio / TV station.
- Share your story on YouTube.
- Write a letter to the Editor about an advocacy issue or on Alpha-1 awareness.
- Speak at a local club or civic / service group.
- Post information about Alpha-1 on Facebook / Twitter (use the hashtag #Alpha1OZ for each one of your social media posts).
- Educate your family and friends about Alpha-1.
- Write to your local Member of Parliament to share your personal story about Alpha-1.
- Provide your physicians with literature about Alpha-1.
- Share information about Alpha-1 at your local community organisations.
- There are ALWAYS things that can be done to further the cause of the AAA, and your help will be very much appreciated. If you have time and interest, please contact the AAA for ways in which you can contribute.
Help Identify Alphas
It is estimated that more than 90% of individuals living with Alpha-1 have not been diagnosed. You can help identify Alphas by spreading awareness in your local community:
- Educate your physicians and other healthcare providers about Alpha-1.
- Participate in local health fairs or events.
- Approach corporate sponsors. A sponsor can have a logo and link included on the AAA website.
- Identify and apply for grants.
- Arrange a fundraising barbecue (organisations such as Woolworths and Bunnings will often provide the barbecue and ingredients - it just needs your time).
- Arrange a fundraising movie night.
- Register participation in your local Grill'd store - see Grill'd Local Matters.
- Arrange a raffle.
- Set up a sports tipping competition.
- Ask your employer if it will support you with your fundraising initiative. A small salary deduction from each employee is a popular method of corporate assistance. Bear in mind that donations to the AAA are income tax deductible.