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In a special article for CNN, Wyatt Massey reports on how countless celebrities raised awareness for Wear Orange, the first-ever National Gun Violence Awareness Day, by tweeting pictures of themselves wearing orange. Mr. Massey is Features Intern at CNN and an aspiring human rights journalist covering stories that change lives on a multitude of platforms – Twitter, Facebook, Medium and WordPress.

Why people are #WearingOrange Today?

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By Wyatt Massey,| CNN| 6/2/15

Orange draws attention, whether it is up close or from a distance. That’s why the Wear Orange campaign chose the color to raise recognition for the first National Gun Violence Awareness Day today.

The campaign encourages people to post photos on social media and explain why they support the cause, using the hashtag #WearingOrange.  The 2013 death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was mistakenly shot by gang members in a Chicago park, is behind the movement.

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#WearingOrange To Raise Awareness

The Wear Orange campaign for National Gun Violence Awareness Day was born out of the partnership between Everytown Gun Safety, a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities, and Project Orange Tree, the organization started by friends of 15-year old Hadiya Pendleton, who lost her life after she was mistakenly shot and killed by gangmembers.  The campaign asked people to wear orange, take pictures of themselves and share it on Twitter or Facebook to raise awareness and show their commitment to end gun violence in America.

Orange Made a Difference

Marketing studies have shown that color can increase your brand’s recognition by 80% and can make a significant impact on the first impression you make with potential donors. Orange was chosen for to raise awareness for the campaign because it is the color that hunters wear to alert other hunters of their presence.  It also is a vibrant color that evokes cheerfulness and confidence and stands out, even on the small screens of your mobile phone.  The bright pictures of celebrities wearing orange or the Wear Orange logo encouraged others to join in.

Choose the color you want to represent your campaign to raise awareness carefully since it can affect how you feel and what emotions you are experiencing.  Some colors that can calm and relax – just think about how spas are usually decorated.  While others are credited with associated raising blood pressure, tiring the eyes and increasing metabolism.

The Power of Social Media for Raising Awareness

The power to reach millions is the power of social media.  The call-to-action asking supporters to create their own #WearingOrange image and share it on Facebook or Twitter resulted in an excellent opportunity to raise awareness with celebrities inspiring others to participate by sharing their photos and personal reasons why they support the cause.

Remember to allow donors to share your campaigns on social media and encourage them to post links back to your website or to their own crowdfunding pages.  Make it fun and make it simple for them to participate, especially on their mobile phones, which they can use to quickly take the picture and post socially in an instant.

The Wear Orange campaign certainly raised awareness for their cause and as it continues grows on social media, may enjoy viral success just like the ice bucket challenge did, which has raised more than $200M for the fight against ALS.

Raise awareness for your cause by using color in your campaign to provoke the strong emotions that will urge supporters old and new to participate, then ask them to share on social media to create a positive viral response.

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