Just make the ask!

People always seem surprised when I tell them that I raise over $5,000+ every year for the American Diabetes Association. I hear a lot about, “Isn’t that awkward to ask people for money?” I actually don’t think it is…and here’s why…

The cause of diabetes is so personal to me and I’ve met thousands of people who also have  the disease. I know the struggles that come along with living with a chronic illness and remember the faces of the people who’ve told me their stories. I’ve seen where the dollars go that are raised through the association and believe in the work that they are doing and accomplishing.

I sit on the Community Leadership Board for the American Diabetes Association and last week I was asked to speak at our monthly meeting about “making the ask”. When I’m asking people to donate to the cause and/or to volunteer for an event…I’m asking people that I know and who know me. Just like I would want to help a friend if they have a cause that’s so personal to them, I feel like vice versa I’m just telling people what I’m up to and my life’s passion….helping find a cure for diabetes. I’m never offended if people say no to me…I just think I need to ask more people.

Two weeks ago I was out to dinner with a good friend of mine who also happens to have type-1 diabetes. We were at The Lowry in Uptown. Without even thinking I took my insulin pump out of my pocket, dialed up my bolus dose, and then sat the device on the table…while continuing to talk with my friend. I don’t know if 5 or 10 minutes passed but a young woman around my age approached our table and she asked me, “You have type-1 diabetes?” I said yes without even realizing that she must of seen my pump. I told her yes I do and that I’d worn a Medtronic pump for the last 11 years. My friend also told her, her diabetes journey. With tears in her eyes, Dez told us both about how much this meant to her to meet other people her age living with type-1. At that moment I asked her if she would be interested in meeting other people with type-1 at the sub-committee I run for diabetes advocacy. She instantly said YES when I told her it would be tomorrow at my house. The reason why I tell this story is for a couple of reasons…

1. When you’re open and comfortable to talk about your disease…you just never know how that can affect a total stranger’s life around you. Don’t we all want to try to give hope to another person?

2. If I wouldn’t have told her about the sub-committee meeting she would never had known about it. She came to the meeting that next night and said she feels incredibly blessed to be in such a great, supportive group.

MAKE THE ASK! Some may say no, but the ones who say YES make it totally worthwhile.

2 thoughts on “Just make the ask!

  1. Hmmm… I’m not sure I would equate the two stories you’re telling here. One, we’re talking about fundraising. That is different than a D-Meetup or just meeting other PWDs. The latter is, in my experience of meeting many in the D-Community, what most of us are looking for – that personal connect (as you point out). But what many of us DON’T want is to have the constant fundraising asks, as we often get at ADA and JDRF events; it becomes more about the money than the people. And that’s not what I’m looking for, even if I do contribute and raise money/awareness for the organizations in various capacities. They’re just two different things. And what I’ve found bothersome in my past is when people try to get me in the door about “meeting other PWDs” when in fact it’s about raising money. That’s not cool, in my book.

    • Thanks Mike for reading my blog and posting your thoughts…I always appreciate hearing other people’s perspective.

      My intention of the post was to show different examples of “making the ask”…not just “making the ask for money”. Though it’s hard to draw a defined line between the two because I do believe there is no mission without money.

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