Join me this week for a few PSA’s about ways to raise awareness, raise money, and find support.
I have been so impressed and inspired by people affected by diabetes who take it upon themselves to raise money and awareness. And I’m not talking about signing up for a local walk (though that’s admirable too). I’m talking people who organize golf tournaments, train to ride 100 miles, donate profits of items they’ve created, and organize their own walks. I’d like to highlight some of these crusaders in a new feature I’m calling: Grassroots.
Today I am featuring Tips4Type1 Nail Polish created by Tonya Homme. Read about Tonya and her daughter’s ongoing fundraiser:
What inspired you to begin this fundraiser?
Ever since our 23-month-old daughter Charlotte was diagnosed in October of 2008, I have been searching for an idea, something I could do, to raise both awareness for type 1 diabetes and money for research.
The idea for Tips4Type1 came last year when I saw an ad in a magazine for a pink shade of nail polish. At the bottom of the ad it said, “A portion of sales will be donated to such-and-such research.” And I thought, “Why can’t someone do that for Type 1 diabetes, with our silver and blue awareness colors?” I’ll be honest, this thought crosses my mind whenever I see the pink product displays in stores and all of the pink advertising I see everywhere, all the time. I mean no disrespect to, nor do I begrudge this foundation, but I want type 1 diabetes to get this kind of exposure! One of my goals for this project is to help make the colors silver and blue as synonymou
s with diabetes research as the color pink is for the other cause.
Once I had the idea for my silver and blue polishes, I contacted a few big nail polish companies and discovered that they don’t work with individuals such as myself. But, I believed in the idea and became a D-Mom on a mission! If there is one thing I have learned from the magic of social networking, it is that there aren’t many people more determined than us D-Moms and Dads. I started doing research, figured out how to get my own custom nail polishes manufactured, asked my graphic designer friend to design a logo, created a web site, and Tips4Type1 was born!
One of my favorite things about our Tips4Type1 project is that it is a mother-daughter effort. Charlotte is my number one helper. She gets so excited when I tell her we have another order to fill! She assembles the boxes, helps me pack them and applies the mailing labels. I love that she is learning to become both a philanthropist and an entrepreneur at the ripe age of 4!
Tell me more about the nail polish.
Our Tips4Type1 nail polish is sold in a set of 2, one silver, one blue. It can be purchased on our web site (www.Tips4Type1.com) for $25 + $4.95 S&H. We are donating $10 of every sale to the Diabetes Research Institute (www.diabetesresearch.org).
Our silver polish is called ‘Tips of Steel’ in honor of those precious fingertips that are forced to endure SO much. We named our blue shade ‘True Blue Hope’ because we have HOPE that a CURE will be found for Type 1 diabetes.
Can people participate even if they don’t wear nail polish themselves?
People have been really amazing, finding creative ways to support our cause, even if they do not wear nail polish themselves.
Someone purchased several sets and donated them to a local women’s shelter. Isn’t that wonderful? Another person bought a few sets, keeping one for herself and donating the others to her regular nail salon, so other customers could get Tips4Type1 mani/pedis, too. Some people purchased the polish and asked me to send it to a friend, a granddaughter, or a co-worker, as a surprise. So even if you don’t wear nail polish yourself, please keep us in mind and support our cause whenever you need a gift idea for a friend, relative, babysitter or favorite resident rock star.
Why did you choose this charity to be the recipient of your fundraising efforts?
I chose the Diabetes Research Institute to be the recipient of our donations because I believe in their CURE-focused approach to research and I believe they are “The Best Hope for a CURE,” just like their mission statement says.
While new developments and devices are great, all I truly want for Charlotte and all of our T1 friends is for Type 1 diabetes to just. go. away. Forever. I want a cure.
How can nail polish help spread awareness?
Last year on Facebook I noticed that many people in the Type 1 community painted their nails blue for World Diabetes Day on Nov 14th. In a constant effort to spread awareness, my nails are ALWAYS painted silver, to honor my brave Charlotte’s sweet ‘Tips of Steel’ and blue, as a constant reminder of our ‘True Blue Hope’ that a CURE will be found. And, believe it or not, people notice.
I am forever in ‘Diabetes Advocate Mode’, and my nails provide an opportunity to educate others everywhere I go. It is remarkable the number of people who have commented about my always-silver and blue nails, and with their comment, the door opens for conversations to start. I tell them why I am wearing these colors, why we started this fundraising project, and why we chose the DRI as the recipient of our donations. They discover that by purchasing our polish not only are they helping to raise money for important research, but by painting their nails, they are also helping to spread diabetes awareness themselves!
Educating others is SO important. The way I look at it, the more people who know about what life with Type 1 is like, the fewer hurtful, ignorant comments our loved ones will have to endure. That is my hope, anyway. Living with type 1 is hard enough already. If, by educating others, we can help make life a little easier, then I will educate and advocate with every last ounce of energy I’ve got.
As well as being able to purchase polish on our web site, there are also some educational pages. One page tells our story and another explains why I started this project. There is a ‘Symptoms’ page, because the first question most people ask is “How did you know?” And the page I am probably the most proud of is the ‘Myths/Truths’ page, which provides a clear and concise list of what type 1 IS and what it is NOT; ie: It IS an autoimmune disease. It is NOT caused by an unhealthy diet or lifestyle. I would love it if D-Mom Blog readers would take a look at these pages, and encourage everyone to share them with their friends and family who want to learn more about Type 1 diabetes.
Can you ship your polish anywhere?
Due to shipping restrictions, nail polish is not allowed to fly. It must travel by GROUND ONLY. Therefore, regretfully, I am only able to ship within the continental United States. (We are located in California.) My apologies to our international friends.
Also, the GROUND ONLY shipping restriction means that expedited shipping is not possible. We fill every order immediately, but it will arrive only as quickly as the trucks can drive to your area. Thanks in advance for your patience and understanding.
With this in mind, if you would like to have your polish in time for National Diabetes Month in November, or if you would like to purchase some to give as holiday gifts, please make sure you place your order a couple of weeks ahead of time.
How can people make a purchase?
Polish can be purchased by visiting our web site and clicking on the “Buy Now” link. You can pay with a credit card or with a paypal account. A few customers who don’t like to use paypal have contacted me via email, tonya.homme (at) gmail (dot) com, and have paid by check or money order. Our store is always open and our assembly line is always ready to fill another order!