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A challenging part of living in a world where people are different is learning to live with acceptance. Instead of comparing or competing, the best way to show love is to accept differences in abilities, embrace the special qualities each human has to offer, and make the world a better place because of it! 

Annie Hopkins founded 3E Love in 2004 to make the world a better place, also creating the International Symbol of Acceptance. This icon, or symbol, shows a wheelchair that is formed in the shape of a heart. Together, the occasion and the symbol communicate the 3E Love ethos of devotion, equality, respect and understanding, which are meant to be adopted and appreciated by people of all abilities.

Disability owned and operated, 3E Love works to empower people through pride and passion, rather than charity. Taking control, following their dreams and being the best they can, regardless of physical factors, makes these brilliant people what they are as humans. And Annie’s goal to share this with as many people as possible has proved a source of inspiration all across the world.

Part of this dream and goal is being lived out during the annual celebration of International Day of Acceptance.

History of International Day of Acceptance

The International Day of Acceptance (IDOA) is a valuable social entrepreneurial awareness experiment that comes along with a heart-warming back-story.

On January 20th 2009, Annie passed away due to unexpected complications during a simple medical procedure. Her memory lives on in the hearts of her friends and family, and it also lives on in the heart of the International Symbol of Acceptance. Annie’s brother, Stevie Hopkins, who helped her start 3E Love, paid tribute to his sister’s selfless efforts and vowed to keep them alive.

In 2010, on the first anniversary of Annie’s passing, Stevie and his family founded an annual celebration of her life and work. The day was established with an invitation for everyone to take part in a variety of ways, from drawing the symbol on a hand or cheek, to ordering buttons and T-shirts from the website, or simply changing social media profile pictures to the logo for the day.

Each year, in celebration of International Day of Acceptance, many organizations, companies and individuals have taken to changing their profile pictures on social media to spread the word, paying tribute to a wonderful girl and her incredible philosophy.

Friends, tell the world you embrace who you are; a person with social rights, who has an opinion, who has interests, who has goals and who loves life; a person who is empowered to make a difference in the world and not be without a voice in society. You are not living disabled, you are living.

3E Love

How to Celebrate International Day of Acceptance

Have tons of fun and show how much love there is in the world by celebrating the International Day of Acceptance! A wide range of activities can be engaged with in order to make the most of the day, including some of these ideas:

Attend an International Day of Acceptance Event

Check at the local library or other community gathering space to find out if there will be events or activities in celebration of the International Day of Acceptance. Many schools, colleges, universities, government agencies and companies will show their support by hosting educational activities, entertainment, community events and more.

For those individuals, businesses or schools who are interested in hosting an event, the 3E Love website offers a toolkit not only for this day, but to inspire other celebrations in an inclusive manner, like Halloween, Service Animal Day, Earth Day and more.    

Share Experiences about Acceptance

The folks at the International Day of Acceptance website encourage individuals to share their experiences about what acceptance means, and share photos online. The website showcases a wide range of photographs and words that tell hundreds of stories of folks who have embraced the concept of acceptance in a world where everyone has differing abilities. Read some of them, get inspired by them, and share the love with others!

Learn the 3E Love Credo

One of the important factors related to International Day of Acceptance and its association with 3E Love is the foundation of 3 E’s on which the organization was built. Check them out and perhaps share them to raise awareness and show appreciation for this important day.

  • Embrace Diversity
  • Educate the Community
  • Empower Acceptance and Love

Order and Wear Acceptance Merch

From t-shirts and hoodies to jogging pants and hats, a great way to show support for the International Day of Acceptance is by donning the merchandise. Hopefully, wearing it will create conversations, not only on the day but all throughout the year, about what it means to live in an accepting and diverse community.

With a wide range of different designs in various colors, with themes such as, “That’s how I roll” and “Kindness is contagious”, there can certainly be something for everyone who wants to raise awareness in celebration of acceptance.

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