October 2, 2011

Announcing the World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange

Filed under: Awareness,Creative Expression,Inspiration,World Diabetes Day — Lee Ann @ 1:08 pm
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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!


World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange

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: leeann@thebuttercompartment.com. 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:

Your name:
Where you live:
Your connection to diabetes:
Type of diabetes:
Year of diagnosis:
One thing you do to Act On Diabetes:
One Word:

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!

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36 Responses to “Announcing the World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange”

  1. Tricia says:

    Lee Ann, I think this is such a wonderful idea! And it makes me happy (and a little sad for me) that you had such a great connection so early on. I didn’t:( I used to wait in terror in my endos office wondering if I was the ONLY kid with diabetes. I never saw other kids there and I met tons of adults who I thought were so lucky to only have to take pills for their diabetes, little did I know how ignorant I was! lol But I do wish I was able to attend a camp for kids with diabetes or to have met just one other person before the age of 33 who also went through what I did. ButI do feel blessed now to have found the DOC and David and my d friends, I don’t think I’d be where I am today without them:)

  2. Kelly Booth says:

    I think this is a great idea!

  3. Wendy says:

    This is a FANTASTIC IDEA!!!! I’m in :)

  4. Tracy says:

    Great idea! I live with two type1s in my family: my 31 year old husband and our two year old son. As a kid, my husband was really afraid to talk or even aknowledge the disease to others, in fear that he would be looked at “differently”. Now with our son, we regularly attend the local JDRF get togethers and functions and really want our little boy to know that even though he is different, there’s not anything he can’t do! It just means he has to take extra good care of himself! ;)

    • Cheri says:

      What advice would your husband give a 14-year-old boy who was diagnosed 4 1/2 years ago and has not come to terms with his T1D?

  5. Heidi says:

    Terrific idea!!! This will be a fun project for us for fall break. Thanks for all you do to unite the DOC and add a little more art into our lives. :)

  6. Julie says:


  7. Becca says:

    This is a gorgeous idea, plus it’s EXACTLY the kind of thing my 5 year old daughter (who has type 1) would LOVE to do! How wide are you throwing this? (we’re in the UK)

  8. Manny Hernandez says:


  9. This is a great idea and one that I will pass on to patients.

  10. Kelli Buford says:

    I LOVE this idea!! We need T shirts to wear on the day. If there is one available, please let me know. Snail mail is great & I love connecting with fellow Diabetics!

  11. Karen G says:

    Love this so much!!! I’m in – I send you an email yesterday!! :)

  12. shannon says:

    so. much. awesome. email sent! :)

  13. This is awesome! I sent you my info. Definitely want to participate!

  14. [...] http://www.thebuttercompartment.com is coordinating an awesome postcard exchange for Word Diabetes Day.  Surf on over to her post and check out what you need to do to participate! Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this [...]

  15. [...] you should really just head on over to Lee Ann’s blog and read her description. She has all the need-to-know details there for you, including her email [...]

  16. [...] WDD Postcard Exchange… Anytime before November 14, The World [...]

  17. Briley says:

    I love this idea and I can’t wait!! I sent you an email, but I’m not sure if you recieved it, or if I should’ve heard something about it yet. But I did see a lot of things about this on twitter today, so I don’t want to miss anything!

  18. Camille says:

    What a great idea!!

  19. Rosaland says:

    I love this idea and will let ome others know about it too! Thanks for doing this!

  20. [...] World Diabetes Day (November 14th). She started a Postcard exchange! Checkout her blog post here: World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange for more information on signing [...]

  21. [...] I am not a crafty person and I am planning on participating. You can read more about it here or check out the Facebook page [...]

  22. Super cool idea, Lee Ann! We are signing up!

    Also, we wanted to let you and other folks know about another postcard project for next month:

    We’re working on a Blue Circle campaign for WDD / Diabetes
    Month in November that will “live” on the DiabeticConnect.com
    community site.

    It’s following up on a bunch of DOC conversations about how
    one one unified symbol is so sorely needed for this illness!!

    There will be pre-printed postcards we can all send to ADA, AADE and
    JDRF asking them to get behind the Blue Circle as THE international
    symbol of diabetes. There will also be an online petition to sign.

    We’re hoping you’ll all be interested in supporting this effort. We’re
    creating icon that can be posted with a link to the landing page.

    All the best,
    - Amy

  23. [...] are the rules (as displayed on The Butter Compartment): 1) Email your postal address to Lee Ann: leeann@thebuttercompartment.com. If you would like to be [...]

  24. Cecilia says:

    Hola: soy diabetes tipo 2, me acaban de diagnosticar y me parece muy buena tu idea. Vivo en Buenos Aires, Argentina.Felicidades!!!

  25. Alet says:

    I just finished making my postcard! :)

  26. [...] a brighter note, I am participating in the WDD Postcard Exchange.  I got my buddy’s address and now all I have to do is summon what little creativity I [...]

  27. [...] actually did my WDD postcard for the WDD Postcard Exchange!  Haven’t mailed it yet, but will do so on Monday.  My buddy is in London, so it will take [...]

  28. [...] is Lee Ann’s project to connect more of us with each other. Last time I checked, she has almost 500 of us signed [...]

  29. Amy Doezema says:

    Oh Lee Ann!! I’m sorry it has taken me so long to get on board with the postcard exchange- i too, LOVED loved loved camp sweeney and i will NEVER forget all the wonderful letters we exchanged! i sorta miss the old fashioned chewing gum with the long sticks in individual double wrapped paper. those papers were so fun to use to decorate envelopes. i’m sending you my info right now! xoxo.

  30. [...] World Diabetes Day (November 14th). She started a Postcard exchange! Checkout her blog post here: World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange for more information on signing [...]

  31. [...] I also got my postcard out in the mail for the World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange. [...]

  32. [...] World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange (the official post with all the details) [...]

  33. [...] Ann Thill’s World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange. What a fun way to connect with PWDs around the world! Here’s the postcard I got from my new [...]

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