Thursday, March 10, 2011
Giving it Away
Recently, you read about all of the diabetes stuff in my closet. It’s more than our monthly allotment, and has been carefully collected for some time now. There was a time, after our insurance-holder (a.k.a. my husband) was laid off, when we relied on a similar stockpile to get us through lean times. That, and the story below, are the the reasons I don’t think I qualify to star in the pilot episode of “Diabetes Hoarders.” Not anymore, at least.
About 2 years ago, we were reorganizing my daughter’s room and found a box containing hundreds of syringes under her bed. Apparently since we had moved into that particular home when she was 4, my daughter and her friends survived countless playdates despite this potential hazard. She’d been using a pump for years. What should we do with these?
A few minutes with my friendly search engine turned up a fabulous solution: non-profit organization Insulin For Life. We boxed up most of the syringes (saving a couple of bags for pump-failure emergencies), as well as some glucometers, and lancets for an old meter we didn’t use, and shipped them off.
Insulin For Life has two major missions. One is to provide diabetes supplies to children in developing countries who would otherwise have no access to them, and would therefore potentially die of diabetes. The second mission is to provide diabetes supplies to those who need them after disaster strikes. After Hurricane Katrina, for example, people evacuated their homes, leaving most, if not all of their supplies behind them, never to be seen again. Insulin For Life was able to provide them with all of that stuff they left behind in their closets, refrigerators and drawers, to keep them going until they found another way to re-supply themselves.
We’ll continue to thin out our supplies to send to this organization and ones like it. It keeps our closet from overflowing, and our play-spaces safe for small children. Mostly, though, I can’t imagine being a parent to a child who relies on the kindness of others in order to get the insulin needed to stay alive. I’m glad we are able to help in our own small way.