Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is the “My” in quotation marks?
A: The name of our group is “My” Food Allergy Support Group. So when you are using it in conversation, you can refer to it as “My” (meaning yours personally) Food Allergy Support Group.
Q: Is there a membership fee to join the support group?
A: No, we do not charge an annual fee to be part of the support group. When we do events for the children, we will charge a nominal fee per child to cover the costs of the event.
Q: How can I join the support group?
A: If you are interested in becoming part of our support group network, please fill out the contact form on the Contact Us page of the website. You can also email Dena Friedel directly firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Q: Does our group have any affiliations with allergy organizations?
A: Yes! We are affiliated with FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) FAACT (Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team) and AAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America).
Q: Where are the meetings held?
A: We meet monthly at the Westerville OhioHealth Medical Campus 300 Polaris Parkway Westerville, OH 43082
Q: What can I expect at a meeting?
A: Our regular meetings usually have anywhere from 5-12 attendees. Most of our members find the online support to be enough. While we try to have a topic of discussion, it is normally an open forum. Someone starts off with a question, concern or situation they wish to discuss and it takes off from there. We usually have the security guard kicking us out at the end of the night. We have never run out of things to talk about.
Occasionally, we arrange for a guest speaker. These meetings attract a bit larger group, so we move to the larger conference room. You will always know in advance of a guest speaker and an RSVP is requested for planning purposes. In the past we have had some wonderful speakers address our group on topics such as Epinephrine Auto-injectors, Nutrition with Food Allergies, Allergy Testing and Art Therapy (for treating anxiety in children).
Q: How will I know if a meeting is canceled?
A: All communication for the group is done using our Yahoo Group email. Always check your messages prior to leaving, just in case something happens!
Q: Do I have to RSVP for the meetings?
A: No, however, if you know that you are coming but will be running late, please let me (Dena) know ahead of time. At 7:15, if no one shows up and I have not been informed of a late arrival, I will assume that no one is coming and pack up and leave.
Q: Are children allowed at meetings?
A: The short answer is yes, if you really need to come to a meeting, I do not want childcare to be the reason you don’t. However, I do not recommend it. Infants and young toddlers that do not really understand or care about what we are discussing are most likely going to be fine, but older children are more likely to get scared or upset by some of our topics. Our meetings can be very emotional at times.
Q: Do I have to attend the meetings or can I be an online member only?
A: This is your support group. You can be as active or inactive as you wish! Most of our members find the online Yahoo Group to be enough support. Others like the interaction of a live meeting. It is completely up to you.
Q: What is the Yahoo Group?
A: Our support group has a Private Yahoo Group site. Through this site, we are able to share questions, comments and share information with only our members. The group emails will automatically come to whichever email you specified when you accepted the invitation. While we also have a Facebook Group, the Yahoo Group will always be our main source of communication.
Q: Is the Yahoo Group site just for emails?
A: No! Not only does the Yahoo group send the messages to your inbox automatically, but also it stores lots of helpful information. All of the old messages are stored out there, files (documents) are available to reference or download, and I have added TONS of helpful links and they are all categorized!! As, new ones are sent from members, I add those too. So, they are all in one place for you. Please use this feature.
Always keep your Yahoo ID and Password that you used to sign up for the group!! You will need it to access the group site or to make changes to your profile.
Q: How do I send a message to the group?
A: Once you are a member of the Yahoo Group, you can send emails directly to email@example.com. You can also sign in to the Yahoo Group site and click on Messages and then click Post.
Q: I would like to add a link to the Helpful Links section of the Yahoo Group site, what do I need to do?
A: Email the link to firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be added to the appropriate category.
Q: What kind of things can I post?
A: As long as it is related to food allergies or something that can benefit the families in the group, you can post it. We have many questions asked and answered here. Members share stories, vent, alert us of new products or label changes, share links to articles etc. It is not appropriate to use the group as a way to sell something for your personal gain.
Q: What kind of events do you offer for the kids or families?
A: We offer two big events annually and others as we are able. The two main events are our Spring “Safe” Egg Hunt and our Fall Halloween Party and Trunk or Treat.
Q: How is food controlled at these events?
A: There will be no food present at any of our events! The only thing we allow is bottled water! We try to schedule our events from 2-4, to avoid the need for a snack.
Q: What is the group Resource Library?
A: Over the years, we have acquired a wonderful collection of books, DVDs and other reference items. These items are available for you to check out. It is our own personal lending library. The list is posted in the File section of the Yahoo Group Site in the Group Resources and Tools Folder. Just email Dena if you are interested in checking something out.
Q: What can I do with my expired epinephrine auto-injectors?
A: Dena collects these for the OlentangySchool District to use for training staff members. If you ever have any epinephrine auto-injectors that you would like to dispose of, please contact Dena and she will make arrangements to get them from you. You can also bring them to any meeting or group event.
Q: Is our group on Facebook?
A: Yes! We also have a Facebook Group for those of us that are addicted to social media. Our group is secret (private) so, if you would like to be a member, you will need to request it from the site. You must be a member of “My” Food Allergy Support Group to be approved as a member of the Facebook Group. Just remember that not all of our members are on Facebook so for items that you think are important to everyone, use the Yahoo Group email.