Let's Kick Diabetes-Games for Change
How would you describe your "Choose To Matter" project?
The goal of my project was to raise money for the American Diabetes Association, as well as teach kids about the disease. I hosted a day of soccer that included a skills contest, pick-up games, a diabetes friendly bake sale and a raffle. I also sold rubber bracelets and t-shirts at my school. I spoke to local soccer teams, grade schools and my school about diabetes prevention and the ADA.
Explain what “need” or problem your project is addressing?
More people are impacted by diabetes every year than AIDS and Breast Cancer combined. We need to change the way people think of diabetes, support organizations dedicated to finding a cure and assisting people living with diabetes, as well as educate kids on the prevention of Type 2 diabetes.
What positive change(s) happened as a result of your project?
My community came together to learn about diabetes and donate to the ADA. We raised $5,000 for the ADA and raised $500 for my school to purchase new soccer balls. I talked to over 600 kids about diabetes prevention. I hope with this project the ADA is one small step closer to finding a cure and my community is taking a big step towards reducing the incidence of Type 2 Diabetes in kids.
What type of creativity/innovation did you use to implement your project?
I tapped the power of my community. I had 30 sponsors donate raffle prizes, my school district did email blasts to help with promotion and my local paper posted the event. I designed a T-shirt and bracelets that were sold in my school. As kids saw the t-shirts and bracelets they asked about the project and talked about diabetes. They still wear the t-shirts, so the conversation keeps going!
What did you learn from doing your project?
I learned anyone can make a difference. I met kids who live with diabetes and don't let it slow them down. I met a girl who has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for kids in Africa. I learned networking, organization, marketing and risk taking. I spoke at a school assembly and to a college team. I asked business for donations and held meetings with the leaders in my school district.