I have been participating in DSMA chats on and off for the 5 years that it has been around. I do not participate as much as I would like to, but I definitely try to jump in when I can. Last night’s was one of the best that I can remember being a part of. It was being promoted well through PR campaigns as well because there were some special sponsors of the chat last night.
The theme of the chat was #ChatActChange
I broke that down as, we chat during DSMA, we act the next day (and every day after that) and then we will see change. But, we will only see change if we communicate and act on those communications. Change will not just happen by itself.
One of the questions last night was geared towards how someone can get started if they don’t know where to begin or what can they do to get started advocating for change. Well, I want to see as much action as possible, so I figured I would outline 5 quick easy ways that you can act today!
Contact Your Local JDRF and American Diabetes Association
Head on over to your local JDRF or American Diabetes Association’s website and just send them a quick email. Explain to them that you are interested in working with them on a specific cause. Maybe you can simply volunteer at a local walk and be able to communicate and meet people in your community and from there you can build a peer to peer support system. Your local chapters may be involved in something locally that sparks your interest, but reach out and introduce yourself and let them know that you are a helping hand.
Contact Your Local Politicians / DiabetesPAC.org
These two are very similar so I decided to combine them together (but it’s still 5 total right?) If you are anything like me than contacting your local politicians can seem intimidating and trying to even figure out who these people are and how I contact them can be nearly impossible. Except for the fact that DiabetesPAC.org exists.
While there you can view some of the top issues such as safety, quality and access. You can also make just a few clicks to actual actions.
What I think is the coolest thing on the entire site is the Diabetes Scorecard. This basically outlines for you where your elected officials stand on important Diabetes related issues. From there, you can send them a message to say thank you for supporting a specific cause or send them a note as to why they should be supporting something.
First, find out who your officials are. Go to http://diabetespac.org/whydpac and in the lower right hand corner simply input your zip code. All of your elected officials will pop right up for you. It is my recommendation to keep that site open so you can easily reference it. Open up a new tab or new browser window and head on over to http://diabetespac.org/dpac/scorecard
From there you can search for your elected official and find out if they have supported any of the Bills listed. Now that you know who you want to contact and about what, you can use this page to search for their social media accounts – http://govsm.com/w/House
Connect with Locals on Twitter
Connecting with people on Twitter can be easy because you can just easily jump into conversations and also build relationships. I’ve connected with a lot of people on Twitter who I never met, but consider them some of my closest friends.
Here is how you can find people locally (there are several other tools to use, but let’s keep it simple with Twitter):
- Go to the Advanced Twitter Search tool
- In the All of These Words area type “diabetes” (or any other word you want to use)
- Under Places, if your area is not currently selected, then make the appropriate changes
- You can scroll through these tweets and look for people that may be tweeting about items that grab your attention
Just Simply Ask “How Can I Help?”
This is a very simple way to get started. If you have a Twitter account (and if you don’t sign up for one right now) simply log into your account. Think about what you are passionate about when it comes to diabetes. This can be anything, CGM and Medicare, Insurance issues, Work place issues, diabetes and schools, etc. Now type the following in Twitter “I am passionate about XYZ and diabetes. How can I help? #dsma”
That hashtag is followed by thousands of people, someone will either have an answer for you on how you can help or they will connect you with someone who can.
If you don’t want to go to Twitter, here’s a really simple, quick way. In the comment section below, tell me your passion and I will help connect you myself with someone within the diabetes community.
That’s it. Just by doing at least one of these items today, you are already taking action. If you want to spread these out over the next week and just do one a day, that is perfectly fine with me.
I just ask that you do something. I am going to hold myself more accountable and take more actions where I can.
Happy Take Action Day!