Spare A Rose, Save A Child – by Renza Scibilia and Chris Aldred

At Beta Change, we believe that diabetes should not be a barrier to living our best lives. Sadly, the reality is that type 1 diabetes is still a considered a death sentence for those living in developing countries where families choose between insulin and food. While organisations such as T1International fight for global insulin access for all, what can we do to help? In this Global Postcard, we have Renza from Diabetogenic and Chris aka The Grumpy Pumper talk about the Life For A Child Spare A Rose campaign to save a child. 

In 2013, a group of advocates from the diabetes online community (DOC) in the United States came up with a brilliant idea: they devised a campaign to encourage people to give aid to children who are dying because they cannot access insulin.

The campaign was christened Spare a Rose, Save a Child. The idea behind it was simple: instead of sending a dozen roses to your love on Valentine’s Day, send eleven. Then, take the cost of the twelfth rose (equal to about $5 USD), and make a donation to #SpareARose. One rose covers the cost of insulin for one month, a vital expense for a child living with type 1 diabetes. A dozen roses spared equals a year’s worth – one whole year of life for a child. 

All money raised supports Life for a Child, which provides insulin and other diabetes supplies and education to children in countries where access is difficult or impossible.  

Six years later, $130,000 USD has been raised through #SpareARose. Social media feeds in February become a virtual florist, with the campaign’s logo adorning DOC Facebook feeds, Tweets, Instagram profiles, and blogs posts. 

A couple of years ago, we were invited to get involved and help promote the #SpareARose initiative. We’d already written blog posts and spammed friends and family with the campaign, but were honoured to be asked to join the team.  

Since then, we’ve met with the LFAC team to learn about the impact of #SpareARose. Last year’s donations provided a year’s worth of insulin and diabetes education to 572 children.

We know that many in the DOC love #SpareARose because it’s a grassroots campaign developed and led by the community. There is undoubtedly an extra element of ownership when the money raised is for our own, by our own. It shows the power of community and how we are able to look beyond our own situations to help those who need it the most. 

How can people get involved?
It’s easy! Donations can be made by going to:

We would love for you to share the campaign on social media with all your networks, encouraging your families and friends to donate if they can. While this is a campaign by the DOC directed to the DOC, we know that getting word outside our own echo chamber will translate to more awareness and more donations. 

It’s as easy as 1 – 2 – 3.

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