It all started with cupcakes at a birthday party.
Two South Shore moms, one managing food allergies and the other managing Celiac Disease, quickly realized how similar some of their challenges were. They instantly became a support to one another, and knew there were others in the community who could benefit from local support. They imagined a place to share experiences, ask questions and meet people living with similar daily management challenges and successes.
Both moms lived in Scituate, MA and created a Facebook group "Scituate Allergy Families Educating (SAFE)" late Nov 2016, effectively starting SAFE.
The first "in person" meeting was held in Jan 2017. Since that first meeting, SAFE has held consistent monthly meetings, used social media to share info and resources, and organized events for caregivers, children and the public.
By May of 2018 it was clear that SAFE was supporting families beyond Scituate, so the decision was made to change the name to "South Shore Allergy Families Educating". Still SAFE.
In November 2018 SAFE became a Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) recognized support group. This allows us to submit proposals for limited funding. Support groups are required to have a Medical Advisor, and currently, Dr. Michael Pistiner and Dr. Margaret Vallen have each agreed to be Medical Advisors for SAFE. Being FARE recognized makes it easier for local families to find SAFE, and therefore, support.
2019 was a busy year, including monthly meetings, a large educational event thanks to a Community Outreach Award from FARE, the introduction of a new co-leader and the development of Allergy Kids Association (AKA), our advisory group of kids.
2020 saw the launch of SAFE Kids! and the kickoff to our Guest Speaker Series. SAFE Kids! is a kid-centered branch of SAFE with hangouts and outings, organized and hosted by AKA. Plans were impacted in March 2020, with the sudden spread of COVID-19 and the broad quarantine measures that followed. Remaining Guest Speakers joined us virtually. We were able to remain connected via email and Facebook with online events including a Trivia Week contest and a Halloween Costume contest, thanks to a Community Outreach Award from FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education).
In 2021 we are happy to continue virtual meetings as well as virtual workshops and virtual contests. We miss being in person, but appreciate the opportunities that technology affords us to stay connected.
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