The World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange has its very own home on the internet now that includes details about participating, and a gallery of images from 2011 with public image uploading so participants can share the postcards they sent and received. Please visit www.wddpe.com to get more information about joining the World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange in 2012, and remember, it’s not too early to start making postcards!
I’ve tried to create meaningful ways to celebrate November 14th, World Diabetes Day the last few years. For a couple of years, I toted a bin of art supplies to Philly for a diabetes health fair to make art with attendees. Last year, I had a small local gathering that included JDRF’s live webcast and art-making. This year, I wanted to do something that transcended the limitations of bricks and mortar, and last night the idea finally came to me in the form of the World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange.
Here are the rules:
1) Email your postal address to me: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to be matched with an adult, child or family, another type 1 or type 2, or if you are a type 3, spouse, sibling or parent, please indicate that. I will do my absolute best to match you with someone who is similar. Otherwise, your assigned recipient will be random in that regard, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing! We’re sending old-school post office-delivered postcards, so I need your snail mail address.
2) Expect to receive an email with the name and address of your postcard recipient. I’m trying to collect a nice list of participants from many different places, and as soon as the list fills out, I’ll be sending those emails.
3) Use the WDD Blue Circle and all the creativity you can fit on a 3.5”x5” piece of cardstock.
4) On the back of the postcard, complete this mini D meme, in addition to anything else you’d like to share with your recipient:
Where you live:
Your connection to diabetes:
Type of diabetes:
Year of diagnosis:
One thing you do to Act On Diabetes:
5) Mail it, ideally in time for the recipient to receive it by November 14th. If you’re unable to do that, please at least have it postmarked by then.
6) Check your mailbox for a postcard from the person who was assigned your name and address.
7) If you like, post a photo of the postcard you receive on the World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange Facebook page.
Before I proceed, let me respond to anyone who is skeptical about sharing their address. I’m very conscientious about people’s confidentiality in all realms of my life as a result of my professional responsibilities. Other than the one person who will be assigned your name and address as their postcard recipient, your address will not be distributed or abused in any way. It’s reasonable to be wary, but I want to reassure all that I have no nefarious intentions. The worst that will happen is you might get a Christmas card from me IF I get off my butt and start making some.
That business aside, let me share my vision for this project.
Creativity: Needless to say, there is some creativity required on your part. I’m predictable like that. I will have some follow-up posts here with ideas, inspiration, and just some basic practical suggestions for the making of the postcard. I know that the easier this is, the more people will participate, so I want to make it easy. If you want to get fancy-pants with your postcard, that’s up to you.
Connection: As a kid, I lived for diabetes camp. Camp Sweeney was the only place where the shame I had for having diabetes evaporated, and being able to shirk that burden for a few weeks in the summer was a gift and a life-saver. During the rest of the year, I lived to check the mail in hopes of finding a letter from my camp friends. We elaborately decorated envelopes and letters, postmarked works of love and art. Just writing about it is making me teary-eyed because long before the internet, that was my reminder that I wasn’t alone. Looking in my mailbox and finding a reminder that someone else with diabetes was thinking about me still makes my heart burst with joy. We all deserve that, and I hope you feel it too when you get your postcard.
Participation & Activism: Because of where some people are geographically, the options for connecting with others on World Diabetes Day are limited or don’t exist at all. My belief is that no matter where you live, you should be able to participate in World Diabetes Day by connecting to someone else with diabetes. It’s not the same as hanging out with people in person, but I feel like a postcard exchange will allow us all to celebrate together. Imagine postcards with bright blue circles spinning around the globe, connecting us to each other!