As one of Canada’s older charities, the Canadian Diabetes Association is staying old school with its annual door-to-door fundraiser.
“We tend to have the door-to-door one because we can reach more people,” said Janice Daniels, community engagement co-ordinator for the Canadian Diabetes Association.
The fundraiser, which began on May 1 and runs through Friday, May 15, collects monetary donations at the door. The raised money benefits diabetes research, advocacy and education services, as well as the organization’s summer camp.
“We had a child last year from Lloyd that was in our camp,” said Daniels. “It’s a week-long program that the children are able to go and have the camp experience while they are fully supervised by a team of medical staff. They’re able, for the first time, to give themselves insulin and make choices on their food and that sort of thing.”
The organization also worked last year with the Saskatchewan government to get optometrist appointments covered for diabetic patients. Side effects of diabetes includes the rapid deterioration of one’s vision, leading to blindness.
Daniels says that many diabetics would neglect optometrist appointments because of its cost and their financial situations.
Last year, the association collected $16,000 from Lloydminster, and organizers would love to match or top that figure this time around.
“Any donation that someone is willing to make is a reasonable donation,” Daniels said. “When you add up a hundred $5 donations, there’s $500 that can go towards something that we didn’t have to begin with.”
Approved volunteers can be identified by buttons or lanyards they’ll be wearing, and the Canadian Diabetes Association kits they’ll be carrying.
Volunteers can issue temporary tax receipts at the door, with official receipts to follow. Those that don’t feel comfortable giving money at the door may ask to receive an envelope from the organization through the mail.
“Of course, nowadays it is getting tougher to have door-to-door donations, but what we try to do is make ourselves as visible as possible,” Daniels said.
The old door-to-door campaign still seems appropriate, given that diabetes is one of the world’s oldest known diseases. The earliest records of diabetes can be traced to 400 BCE.
An estimated 3.3 million Canadians have been diagnosed with diabetes, including around 288,000 people from Alberta and 93,000 from Saskatchewan.
“There’s so many different things that will be the result of diabetes, but people don’t hear that (diabetes) is the reason,” Daniels said.