This is super cool and I’m excited to participate in Lee Ann’s postcard exchange for this year’s World Diabetes Day. Below is the rules for the exchange and a little bit about why Lee Ann wanted to start this for WDD. I find it really nastalgic to think back to grade school (WAY BACK) before there was e-mail and writing to pen pals. I wonder what kids do these days, e-mail pals??? Anyway, this exchange will be a fun way to share a little bit of your diabetes with someone who gets it. The greatest thing I have related to diabetes is the on/offline community that shares, doesn’t judge and just understands. As of writing this, a TON of people have signed up so let’s all join together. I signed up!

Please take a moment to let Lee Ann know you want to be involved.

Lee Ann’s Postcard Exchange

Here are the rules (as displayed on The Butter Compartment):

  • Email your postal address to Lee Ann: [email protected] 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.
  • 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.
  • Use the WDD Blue Circle and all the creativity you can fit on a 3.5”x5” piece of cardstock.
  • 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:
  • 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.
  • Check your mailbox for a postcard from the person who was assigned your name and address.
  • 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.

Lee Ann’s Vision

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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