What is the Awareness Ribbon Color for my Cause?

Awareness Ribbons Chart Wheel | Crystal Allure Beaded Jewelry
On a Facebook group that I belong to, someone asked the question, "Does anyone know the color ribbon for lung transplant?" I was actually surprised to see many responses that were either guesses or just not the correct color. The conversation then expanded into other related diseases and the awareness color for them.

Having designed awareness jewelry for the past ten years, I have become quite familiar with awareness colors and their disease designations. What better inspiration for personalized jewelry than just about any color imaginable!

I thought this was the perfect topic to blog about because it is such an important one. I'll review some of the awareness ribbon colors for the diseases/causes mentioned and then also provide some links to related articles. First, I'll address the question and then I will address two myths that came up during this discussion.

So what awareness ribbon color represents transplant? The nationally recognized color for transplant is GREEN. Appropriately, green is also the awareness color for organ donation -which really makes sense because these two things do go hand-in-hand. To further expand on transplant awareness, did you know the butterfly is the national symbol for lung transplant.

Myth #1:
Awareness ribbon colors represent diseases only.

Actually, that may have been the belief of a small number of individuals back when awareness ribbons first came into popularity. However, today, awareness ribbon colors represent causes, as well. The point behind awareness ribbons and the wearing of them is to RAISE AWARENESS of a particular cause or disease. In fact, many different causes and diseases can belong to the same color.

Although this is not always the case, but, typically colors are designated by the cause or reason for the need or desire to raise awareness. Take for example, the yellow ribbon. This color ribbon became synonymous with troop and military support. How did it become the designation for this cause? The wife of a war hostage tied them around trees to raise awareness and bring attention to his release. Her actions resonated with many people across the world and the color yellow quickly became nationally recognized for raising awareness of troop and military support.

Ever wondered about the History of the Awareness Ribbon?

Myth #2:
An awareness color is set because it is the brand color of the related charity or organization.

It is likely any charity may take a nationally recognized awareness color and adopt it as their brand color. One such organization is Lungs for Life. They serve both the cystic fibrosis and the transplant communities and as such, have adopted the purple and green awareness colors for their brand.

However, it is less likely to be the case that a color became nationally accepted because a charity used it in their brand and marketing efforts. Truth be told, there are so many causes, diseases/illnesses that affect so many people -it's highly unlikely these days that a color has not already been designated.

From my past experience, I've come across the following two examples:
1) The color purple is nationally accepted and recognized as the awareness color for Cystic Fibrosis. Yet, a small percentage of people think blue represents the awareness color for CF. They believe this because the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's brand color is blue. All this means is if they happen to purchase CF awareness products that are blue, they are simply supporting only the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation mission.

2) The colors red and blue are nationally recognized and accepted as the awareness colors for Pulmonary Fibrosis. In fact, with this particular disease, there is a touching story behind why those colors are nationally recognized. But, some believe the color is teal and that is because the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation has adopted teal as their brand color. Again, any awareness products in teal for PF are supporting only that charity and their mission.

Following a charities brand color as raising awareness for any cause, with probably the exception of Pink, can really limit: the power of a donors' dollars; the effectiveness of a volunteers' precious time; as well, it could limit the resources a cause recipient might benefit from.

There is no shortage of information (or opinions) on awareness colors. Some causes/diseases have adopted many colors for the different disease sub-groups. You can see this with cancer and the many cancer subsets. For this reason, I have published a Guide to Cancer Awareness Colors. I hope you find it helpful!

If I didn't mention your cause or disease in this post, feel free to read our jewelry articles on Awareness Colors and Meanings and Awareness Ribbons by Cause Color for a more comprehensive article on nationally recognized awareness ribbon color(s).

Feel free to revisit these articles, from time to time, as I am always updating the information contained in them. I'd love to hear what cause you support! Leave a comment below.

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