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Helping Those Impacted by Juvenile Diabetes

Through its quarterly projects, Integrated Project Management Company’s (IPM) philanthropic arm, Integrated Project Mercy, often assists organizations focused on helping children. For the third-quarter effort, the company supported the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), a nonprofit that has helped several of IPM’s family members.

Many people believe type 1 diabetes (T1D) is due to poor diets and obesity, like type 2 diabetes. In fact, T1D is a chronic autoimmune disease that has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. Some 1.6 million Americans have T1D, and there is currently no cure. JDRF funds medical research, advocates for helpful healthcare policies, and provides a support network for people who are impacted by T1D.

“JDRF is often the first point of contact for newly diagnosed people and their families,” says IPM Senior Director, Consumer Products, Jason Bonnet, who led the quarterly effort. “They were the first people we met at the hospital when my son was diagnosed in 2016, and it gave us tremendous comfort to know there was such a caring and generous community to help us navigate this new normal in our lives.”

First Line of Support

To educate new families about JDRF’s offerings, a team of IPM volunteers from the St. Louis office made hundreds of phone calls to invite them to a Meet and Mingle event, where they could meet and learn from other families dealing with T1D. They registered several families for the event and informed many others of tools and information provided by JDRF.

Big Events for Big Donations

Several of the IPM offices turned their attention to fundraising. For example, volunteers from the San Francisco and Chicago offices supported large fundraising events. The Bay Area team worked the registration table for the JDRF Summer Classic. The event, which features golf, dinner, live entertainment, and an auction, raised more than $300,000 for type 1 diabetes research. A group in Chicago organized supplies in preparation for the One Dream gala. The largest fundraising event in JDRF’s history, the gala brought in more than $15 million. IPM volunteers also supported the I Ride to Cure Diabetes bicycle race outside Chicago.

Hitting the Pavement

Other IPMers personally participated in fundraisers to encourage donations. One Chicago employee joined the JDRF Chicago Marathon team. In Boston, a team registered and joined the JDRF One Walk in Concord, Mass. New Jersey IPMers also joined a local One Walk and collected donations. Due to COVID, they walked together virtually, connecting on a conference call and chatting as they strolled through their own neighborhoods. Together, these participants raised more than $5,000.

Personal Thanks

Non-profit organizations need to thank their supporters and stay in touch. To help JDRF do so, teams from IPM’s Minneapolis, Chicago, and New Jersey offices hand-wrote—and sometimes illustrated—thank you notes. The organization sent the notes to the team captains of One Walk and similar fundraising events, as well as other major supporters.

Building Relationships While Supporting JDRF

Unable to meet regularly due to pandemic restrictions, some of the volunteers from Minneapolis used the note-writing opportunity for a mentor-protégé get-together. Similarly, the Los Angeles office tied their Project Mercy efforts to team building. Volunteers created a trivia game to promote awareness of T1D and those who live with it as part of a day of training and knowledge sharing.

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