Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in America, but those who aren’t affected by the disease often don’t know much about it. Building advocacy for Diabetes Awareness Month 2021 is as easy as developing a social media campaign to highlight important dates, colors, and themes.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What Is Diabetes Awareness Month?
- When Is Diabetes Awareness Month?
- What Are the Ribbon Colors of Diabetes Awareness Month?
- What Are Diabetes Awareness Month Themes and Hashtags?
- How Do People Acknowledge Diabetes Awareness Month?
There aren’t any specific locations to celebrate Diabetes Awareness Month this year, but you can discover many opportunities for involvement and ways to lend support. Keep scrolling for more information and to find out how you can get involved.
What Is Diabetes Awareness Month?
Diabetes Awareness Month brings attention to those who are living with diabetes. Every year, the National Institute of Health (NIH) and other groups campaign and fundraise to develop themes and initiatives for at-risk groups in need of a more impactful response. From children and Black, Indigenous, or BIPOC groups to the elderly, these organizations suggest cultivating routines of self-care, including:
- Blood glucose level management
- Healthy habit and nutrition development
- Emergency preparedness
- Diabetes complications tracking and management
- Mental health advocacy
When Is Diabetes Awareness Month?
We recognize November as Diabetes Awareness Month in honor of the doctors who discovered insulin in 1921, Dr. Frederick Banting and Dr. Charles Best. In particular, Dr. Banting’s birthday, November 14, serves as World Diabetes Day.
Another important day for diabetes awareness falls earlier in the year. American Diabetes Association Alert Day® began in 1986 due to a much-needed increase in prevention education and is celebrated on the fourth Tuesday of March.
What Are the Ribbon Colors for Diabetes Awareness Month?
The gray ribbon was used most commonly to represent Diabetes Awareness Month until March of 2015. Since then, the International Diabetes Federation has selected the Blue Diabetes Circle as a current and better representation for disease awareness.
What Are the Diabetes Awareness Month Themes and Hashtags?
There are several themes and hashtags you can use to increase the visibility of Diabetes Awareness Month.
Themes change annually to support the different cornerstones of Diabetes research and awareness. The theme for 2021 isn’t available yet, but stay tuned to the NIH for the announcement as November approaches.
Other themes and awareness movements include:
- The Drop Spotted has a Warning Signs Awareness Campaign that asks people to download the “drop” and add it to a shareable graphic or photo of themselves and post it online. They also sell a line of apparel that makes increasing awareness as easy as putting on a hat.
- Blue Circle Voices is an International Diabetes Foundation initiative for people living with Diabetes that brings together a network of members and stakeholders to develop strategies to improve prevention, care, and management.
- Insulin at 100 is part of a three-year campaign to raise awareness for international diabetes awareness, which will increase access to diabetes care and highlight the action needed to prevent diabetes globally.
Hashtag popularity comes and goes, but some of the most common hashtags will continue to have importance for people living with diabetes. They are:
To create awareness on your Instagram page, add a group of hashtags to your feed for better traffic. To stay up-to-date on timely or relevant hashtag groupings for Diabetes Awareness Month, click on this link.
How Do People Acknowledge Diabetes Awareness Month?
Showing your support and acknowledging diabetes is possible through several fundraising activities, advocacy campaigns, and donation opportunities. Here are just a few:
Step Out Walk
Join a Step Out Walk campaign in-person or virtually by clicking this link. When ready to register for the event of your choice, you’ll sign-up and share the whys on their page, followed by pictures or videos of you on your own social media pages with the appropriate hashtags.
Tour de Cure
Connect with a Tour de Cure campaign near you virtually or in-person by clicking this link. For those joining in the 2021 fundraising efforts, sign-up with the nearest location and invite friends, family, or coworkers to join in. In your area, you’ll:
- Ride in your neighborhood
- Share your whys on social media.
- Post a goal and track the progress you and your team are making on your social media pages with photos or videos.
- Connect with community members nationally or internationally
- Amplify your efforts with the appropriate hashtags to get notice and bring greater awareness.
Develop a successful aging checklist for you, your family, and your friends
To support friends and loved ones and prevent diabetes, develop a successful aging checklist to maintain control of your psychological, physical, and cognitive health. Ideas include:
- Creating diet awareness
- Developing a social network
- Building healthy behaviors, coping strategies, and resources
Giving plans and fundraisers
Here are a few ideas for raising money toward the cause of diabetes awareness.
The tip of the iceberg is Corporate Giving. When businesses make yearly donations, employee morale observably increases, as does their satisfaction in the work environment. Other benefits include improving the overall visibility and attractiveness of the brand, thereby increasing the talent pool.
In-Honor, Monthly, and By-Mail donations are a few more ways to give charitable diabetes organizations directly. Each contribution is accompanied by a tax receipt which you can share on any social media page. By doing so, you can elect to honor friends and loved ones on a platform that could bring momentum to the cause.
Fundraising efforts can be as straightforward or intricate as your inspiration dictates. You can:
- Create an athletic event where participants’ entry fees are directly donated to your favorite Diabetes Awareness nonprofit.
- Offer to build a corporate giving plan if your workplace doesn’t have one in place. If it’s successful, you may ask that the company implement one based on the data you collect.
- Celebrate a milestone birthday or anniversary drive on any one of your social media pages to fundraise for friends or loved ones annually.
- Fundraise in support of any local kids’ group that takes annual adventures into the wilderness. Consider local girls’ or boys’ organizations where you could share donations toward their experience alongside the Diabetes Awareness nonprofit of your choice.
Donate a car
Do you have a vehicle, trailer, or RV that you’re looking to trade-in? If so, a donation would make an excellent option for you to get the best representative value of that item listed on a tax-deductible receipt.
1940 Leadership Giving Society
Dr. Cecil Striker was one of the founders and the first president of the American Diabetes Association. With his help, donors have succeeded in achieving outstanding donation values, which the 1940 Leadership Giving Society recognizes. Whether you give individually or contribute as an event fundraiser, your efforts may be eligible for recognition in this society.
Planned giving opportunities
One more way to give to Diabetes Awareness nonprofits is through planned giving opportunities down the road.
Charitable trusts enable gift-giving for as much and as long as you determine. If this option is of interest, contact an advisor you trust to manage the assets.
Qualified Charitable Distributions are available as part of traditional IRA retirement plans for those who are 70 ½ or older.
Wills or living trusts offer people a way to plan their gift-giving easily. Wills and Living Trust donations are flexible and alterable based on circumstances in life.
Allocating part of your life insurance policy also works for giving opportunities. It’s also one that your advisor or another professional can set up for you.
Securities donations or transfers function as charitable deductions on your income tax statements and might be your preferred planned giving opportunity.
Real estate donations are an option for gift giving to any of the diabetes associations. Contact professional help to set this up in your best interest.
Calls to Congress
Join the Calls to Congress event in the Spring by traveling to Washington D.C. to represent Diabetes Advocacy in person. Advocates directly contact Congress members to foster awareness and advocate for better federal funding to increase support for access to affordable health care for all people.
Advocate for and donate to GetInsulin.Org
Affordable healthcare is a significant hurdle for people in need of insulin to manage their diabetes. By supporting groups like GetInsulin.org, people in marginalized communities can find access to lifesaving medication.
Set-up a book drive
Using your core group of friends or any online social media page, develop a book drive for local clinics and hospitals. This year, ask your group to create an advocacy library of children’s books about health to support the 2021 campaign to highlight children’s awareness and prevention of diabetes.
Set up a drop-off location in your neighborhood to deliver the book collection en masse to the hospital or clinic individually to avoid the extra mail.
Join Diabetes Awareness Campaigns in 2021
If someone you know is living with diabetes, join a campaign to create awareness for this disease. Otherwise, you can choose to advocate for better health access and care for anyone in marginalized communities by merely joining in any of the campaigns available in 2021.
- “AMERICAN DIABETES ASSOCIATION ALERT DAY – Fourth Tuesday In March.” National Day Calendar, National Day Calendar, (n.d.), nationaldaycalendar.com/american-diabetes-association-alert-day-fourth-tuesday-in-march/
- Beyond Type 1. Beyond Type 1, beyondtype1.org
- “Hashtags for #diabetesawarenessmonth.” best-hashtags, best hashtags, 21 February 2021, best-hashtags.com/hashtag/diabetesawarenessmonth/
- International Diabetes Foundation. IDF, n.d., www.idf.org
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. National Institute of Health, (n.d.), www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/community-health-outreach/national-diabetes-month
- “November: World Diabetes Day and Diabetes Awareness Month!” Healthline, Healthline, 1 November 2020, www.healthline.com/diabetesmine/november-world-diabetes-day-and-diabetes-awareness-month
- “Take action and join the fight against diabetes.” American Diabetes Association, Diabetes.org, 2021, www.diabetes.org/get-involved