How Grassroots Diabetes Efforts Support Community Growth
One of the most inspiring aspects of the diabetes community is the sheer amount of support and participation illustrated. I know I always get excited to learn about new advocacy efforts and I particularly enjoy when organizations of all sizes come together to achieve a common goal. So today I wanted to share a few grassroots efforts in the diabetes community that you may find interesting.
Blue Heel Society – The Blue Heel Society is a brand new organization, formed on Nov. 13, 2011, with a mission to “deliver a clear, united voice via organized assembly within our own affiliation, and also at local and national gatherings, events, conventions, and other venues, helping to dispel myths, offer education and to champion the needs of people affected by diabetes.” While I, of course, appreciate the Blue Heel Society’s (BHS) core objective, I must admit that I really adore their angle – encouraging women to wear blue heels! Believe it or not, this effort appeals to my love for both diabetes awareness and sassy heels. Similar to wearing blue on Blue Fridays, the Blue Heel Society is urging women to don their blue heels to support diabetes awareness. The group is encouraging “blue-ins” where a group of people wears blue shoes on a certain day to raise awareness of what those with diabetes face on a daily basis. And rest assured, for the guys out there wondering how they can participate, you can rock your non-heeled blue shoes (blue suede shoes perhaps?). Founded by Alexis Shabtai-Newell, Tony Cervati and Diane Pridmore, the group has already made progress in just a few short months. Keep up with their efforts via their blog and maybe plan a blue-in of your own this year.
SLAMDiabetes – SLAMDiabetes is an organization that pulls no punches in its efforts to raise money for type 1 diabetes. The group uses sports and entertainment as fundraising vehicles, with goals to expand awareness beyond the type 1 community, broaden support for the fight against type 1 diabetes, and to energize the type 1 community to take bold, new initiatives to raise awareness. SLAMDiabetes assists groups throughout the country in hosting charity wiffle ball tournaments and is working to expand their reach in hopes to host similar active events. Additionally, SLAMDiabetes has teamed up with TAGUR to design a sneaker, with a portion of the proceeds going to type 1 diabetes camps. More information about their effort can be found on their website.
Bands 4 Life – What began as a need for two parents learning to care for their son’s type 1 diabetes has turned into a popular product and online business. The idea provides something so simple and useful it may make you wonder why you didn’t think of it first. Bands 4 Life are a special cloth band placed around the arm, thigh or stomach to hold a continuous glucose monitor in place. The bands wrap tightly around the intended area and keep the pump from falling out or moving out of place. Bands are available in many sizes and come in a variety of colors and patterns. A portion of their profits go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Tips4Type1 – Another stylish way to support diabetes is on your fingers and toes! Tips4Type1 sells a two-pack of nail polish in signature colors blue and silver. When you order, a $10 donation is made to the Diabetes Institute, working toward a goal of raising money but also awareness when people see someone wearing the polish. This way, when you kick your blue heels off at the end of the day, you’re still showing support thanks to a colorful pedicure!
Myabetic – Myabetic also takes diabetes fashion to the next level, offering a line of diabetes testing cases in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some of the cases work as half wallets/half storage while others are more whimsical, like the “Love Bug” heart-shaped case designed for little girls. Creator Kyrra Richards shows off her creativity with other unique cases; such as, a locker-shaped case for boys or the “Moya” handbag for woman that incorporates all the needs of a case while mimicking a stylish purse. A portion of the Myabetic proceeds from sales will be donated to the American Diabetes Association.
The above efforts are just a handful of examples of the dedication and innovation within the diabetes community and I hope you found these examples inspiring as well. Know of other grassroots diabetes efforts? Please share with us in the comments.
All the best,