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Guest Post: World Diabetes Postcard Exchange.

Lee Ann Thill is the DOC's resident art therapist, and her work is just as important as insulin, in my opinion, because it feeds the soul.  Today, she's guest posting about the World Diabetes Postcard Exchange, and if you want to get involved, the details are below!  Let's rally for Real Mail with a diabetes twist!

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My love of Real Mail started when I was young.  I loved getting cards and letters from my grandmothers, but it was the letters from my diabetes camp friends that made me step off the school bus and run home to check the mail.  Before the World Wide Web, it was Camp Sweeney and all the friends I made at camp that made me feel less alone.  During the school year when I wasn’t at camp, it was the letters I exchanged with those beloved friends that always gave me a reprieve from feeling different, letters filled with love and kindness, not just in the handwritten words, but in the time and effort it took to compose and send them.

These days, if you’re like me, you probably don’t get a lot of Real Mail.  You get bills, you get enough junk mail to wallpaper your entire home with enough left over to never have to buy toilet paper again… if only junk mail was less abrasive and more absorbent.  I’m just as guilty as anyone of abandoning the art of letter writing in favor of emails, Facebook, Twitter, and oh, right, blogging, as a means of staying connected to people.  Thanks to those means of communication, I have more friends than I ever imagined, and I can stay updated on what’s happening in their lives and how they’re doing.  I’d be the last to deny that the internet makes staying connected and updated very efficient.


However, I still love Real Mail, and Real Mail with a diabetes twist is that much more special.  With fond memories of sending and receiving letters with my diabetes camp friends, and with the desire to do something for World Diabetes Day this year that transcended bricks and mortar, I’ve initiated the World Diabetes Postcard Exchange as a way for everyone to celebrate World Diabetes Day together, no matter where you live.  The World Diabetes Postcard Exchange is a means of connecting more people affected by diabetes to each other, and it’s an opportunity to get a little creative.  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, or other loved one, please indicate that. I will do my absolute best to match you with someone who is similar. If you don’t indicate any preference, your assigned recipient will be random in that regard, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing! I’m trying to match people who live far away from each other, but I can’t commit to specific geographic matching.  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 expect to get those emails out around the end of this week.

  3. Use the WDD Blue Circle and all the creativity you can fit on a 3.5”x5” piece of heavy paper, cardstock, or paperboard.  I want the creative part to be as easy as possible, so check The Butter Compartment over the next couple of weeks for posts with simple ideas and inspiration for making your postcard.  

  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, like URL or twitter handle:
    • 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.

Since this project was announced last week, we have over 150 participants, mostly from the US, but a few from Canada, Europe, Australia, and even South Africa.  I’m hoping that this week will bring many more participants, and welcome any and all efforts to help spread the word.  My vision is of blue circle postcards spinning around the world, connecting each of us with another individual or family living with diabetes.  Email your snail mail address, start working on that postcard, and tell your friends to tell their friends with diabetes – help bring the world into this World Diabetes Day initiative!

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I signed up.  Have you?


I signed up!! What an amazing idea!!

I signed up too.

Of course!


As an employee of the U.S. Postal Service and the Father of a Son with type 1 diabetes, I say, what a great idea! E-mail just isn't the same as getting a letter or post card in the regular mail.

Yes yes :)

Just signed up!

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