I've been thinking about setting up a table on Thursday, May 12th, for International Awareness Day. I'd like to hand out information and raise awareness. My idea is in the initial stages. I have no details yet, only a vague idea. I've never done something like this before and have no idea whether I can make it happen. But I'd like to try! I've already posted on MEAction and also the Pacific Northwest group (see http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?xfa-groups-group/pacific-northwest.9/group-detail ) asking for people to join me locally. I've had one positive response so far, so that's hopeful! But I'd also like information and ideas from people who are not in the Portland, Oregon area. Has anyone done this sort of thing before? If so, would you be willing to share tips on what worked and what didn't? For those who have never done this, do you have an ideas that might help me? I am not quite sure where to start. Where would be a good place for some sort of information table? I'm thinking some public place with a fair amount of foot traffic. And it would definitely have to be inside, climate controlled, for me. So, perhaps at a mall? Or maybe a library? Once I get a few ideas on where then I'll have to figure out who to ask for permission, where to get a table and 1-2 chairs (can they provide it or do I need to find a folding table/chairs), what kind of signs or banner to have, etc. And then what kind of information should I pass out? I don't plan to create new handouts from scratch but simply locate info that's already out there and make copies. I did spend a little time thinking about my goals. What do I hope to achieve from doing this? Here's a brief list: 1. Information - primary goal I hope folks who talk with me (or us, if multiple people) learn that this is a serious illness. Even if all they remember is that CFS (most people in the USA don't know ME or ME/CFS) does not mean "tired all the time," that it has many serious symptoms, then I will feel I've had a worthwhile impact. As far as the number of people to reach I don't really have a goal. Possible sources of information = Feb 2015 IOM report (Key Facts PDF), reprints of newspaper articles, info on proposed NIH research study (omit controversy, too complicated for newbies) 2. Fund raising - secondary goal Have info available in case people ask about making donations to research (e.g., OMF, Solve ME/CFS - others?) 3. Political - stretch goal Perhaps some form letters to send to senators and congress reps, Re: increase NIH funding? Okay, that's it for now. Hope this was not too long! Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions!