What works in my community is the UNITY part.
Yesterday, I wrote about the way that many of us come together to chat for an hour every Wednesday on the DSMA chat and I also posted a link to the Blue Circle Campaign that seeks to get diabetes organizations (particularly American ones) on board with the International Diabetes Federation's Blue Circle symbol.
Between Twitter, blogs, youtube, social networks, etc., this is a group of people who can affect change.
We've had a few really amazing initiatives take off recently.
Kim Vlasnik's "You Can Do This" Project
Similar in scope to the "It Gets Better" video campaign, many of us shared our stories on YouTube, letting people know that they are not alone in living with diabetes and facing its challenges. I did a personal video here and was included in a compilation video here when I attended Simonpalooza in Kansas City this last October.
If you're my Facebook friend, you already know about this one. Every Friday in November, we're asking people to wear blue in support of Diabetes Awareness.
This one has been pretty challenging for me as the weather has turned colder and all of my blue maternity shirts happen to be very thin t-shirts. So my lips are blue, too.
The Big Blue Test
This test just gets bigger and bigger! :)
In 2009, we encouraged people to test their blood sugar at 2pm (their local time), exercise for 14 minutes, test again, and post it. Then we compiled the data to show how people's blood sugar levels were reduced when they exercised! We had done a similar test-in on July 14, 2009 on TuDiabetes and gotten about 1,000 people to participate.
In 2010, the Diabetes Hands Foundation secured donations from Roche (the makers of Accu-Check) to the IDF's Life for a Child program (which provides insulin to children in 10 impoverished nations) based on the number of views we received for this video.
THIS year, however, though getting the video views last year was a huge accomplishment, we want to encourage more people to actually participate in the testing and activity portion. Roche has earmarked a donation of up to $75,000 if we can get 8,000 entries into the test. The $75,000 will benefit Life for a Child again, as well as 5 US-based charities that provide diabetes supplies and medications to people here at home.
Please visit the website, watch the video (because it's stellar), and enter AS MANY TIMES AS POSSIBLE between the moment you read this and World Diabetes Day (Monday, November 14). We are about a third of the way to that goal.
For every single entry, whether you have diabetes or not (and you non-D folks don't even have to test your BG), $9.38 goes directly to help someone with diabetes live another day. 8,000 people benefit from these charities, which is why we are asking for 8,000 of the rest of us to offer their participation.
I've completed the Big Blue Test several times already and will do it several more this weekend before Monday's deadline. Here are screenshots from the first two entries I made:
One of my 14min "walking" experiences started out as "Mommy takes the tot for a trike ride" and ended with "Pregnant lady, panting, running through the neighborhood, pushing an empty trike, chasing a barefoot toddler."
Hey, whatever gets your blood sugar plummeting, right?
This post was written as part of NHBPM - 30 health posts in 30 days: http://bit.ly/vU0g9J.