american diabetes association sparkpost logo mashup

***Program Update: We have now extended our Giving Program through the end of December 2016, so please continue to share with your networks and be sure to sign-up if you haven’t already!

We’re giving back to three great causes when you sign up for a SparkPost account in the month of November. Today, we’re highlighting the American Diabetes Association.

American Diabetes Association

Since November is American Diabetes month, I’d like to share a couple numbers with you.

10,563                 63,324                  2,212                   29

Those might seem like random numbers to you, but to me, they have a lot more meaning. They represent a significant amount of time, frustration, and hope. They also explain why adults were commenting on how mature I acted. When you’re diagnosed with a chronic illness at the age of 2, it affects every aspect of your life from that point on. No matter how hard you try to separate yourself from it.

It’s been 10,563 days since I was first diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes — almost 29 years. That’s about 63,324 times that I’ve checked my blood sugar by pricking my finger. About 2,212 times that I’ve inserted a new insulin pump site since I switched from daily shots at age 13. That’s the physically painful side of diabetes. The one question people ask me about most often: “How do you DO that every day? I never could!”

Those numbers don’t tell the whole story. They’re the stats that are easy to calculate. I could go on about the less obvious side effects:

  • The number of times I’ve had to sit on the sidelines because my blood sugar was too low for me to participate.
  • The impact that this disease has on those who care about me.
  • The amount of “medical advice” I get from strangers who try to tell me that Type 1 Diabetes is curable. (it isn’t) That it was mine or my parent’s fault that I have it in the first place. (wrong again — it’s an autoimmune disease) Or that there’s nothing wrong with me simply because it’s not always outwardly visible.

 

SparkPost Giving Campaign

As part of our ongoing SparkPost Giving campaign, we have included the American Diabetes Association as one of the charities you can choose to support. This not only affects me, SparkPost’s Community Manager, as a Type 1 Diabetic, but also 29 million other Americans within the broader scope of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, Gestational, and Pre-Diabetes. Diabetes is officially the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. However, this statistic is likely underreported due to the often fatal side effects of diabetes (kidney failure, heart failure, stroke, etc.).

With all of this in mind, I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve been a diabetic for almost 29 years now, and It is only recently that I see the minor complications.. I have an amazing dog that alerts me before my blood sugar gets too low. I also have an awesome community of people who care about me and check in on a regular basis. Finally my partner who creates apps for me so I can monitor my blood sugar more closely.

How does this relate to email? Email, like diabetes, is complicated, frustrating, and unpredictable. There are rules to follow, sure, but sometimes the path that seems to make the most sense actually isn’t the one that fits the current situation. And sometimes, no matter how hard you try, things end with an unexpectedly high blood sugar, or someone clicking “spam” on your perfectly worded email.

I’ve been hearing that a cure is only 5 years away since I was diagnosed (hint: I should have been cured 24 years ago by that math). I say it’s high time that we found a cure… and I’d love your help in making that a reality.

 

How can you help?

  • If you’ve been thinking about it, but haven’t taken the step of creating a SparkPost account, do so today, and choose the American Diabetes Association as your charity.
  • If you already have an existing SparkPost account, share our SparkPost Giving promotion on Twitter or Facebook and get your friends involved!
  • Learn more about diabetes and help dispel the myths that are so prevalent in our society.

You benefit from allowing us to handle the difficult email problems. I benefit from being one small step closer to a world where diabetes isn’t a part of my life. And the world benefits from one more person being knowledgeable about what diabetes is, and isn’t, and how to support those of us who live with it on a daily basis. Everyone wins, and that is something to be grateful for.

– Mary

girls who code sparkpost logo mashup

***Program Update: We have now extended our Giving Program through the end of December 2016, so please continue to share with your networks and be sure to sign-up if you haven’t already!

 

I have a secret. Ok… Not really a secret, but not something I necessarily shouted from the rooftops when I was younger. I was a Girl Scout until I was almost 18. While this wasn’t the common path for most girls in my grade, I believe it was one of the key factors that set me apart when applying for schools and my first job. On applications, I was able to relate my experiences in scouting and community service projects to goal setting, project management and problem solving. It is so important for young women in our society to have a network available to them, and to empower them with resources and skills for future endeavors.

That’s why I am so passionate about the cause we’re highlighting today as part of our SparkPost giving program. While coding wasn’t prevalent among girls when I was in school, it has become a powerful driving force in the tech community among women and around the globe.

Meet Girls Who Code

Girls Who Code is a non-profit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap for girls in technology. Specifically, they focus on teaching girls the Core4 computer science concepts that form the basis for all computer programming languages, along with valuable technical and problem solving skills. Through their programs, they are building the largest pipeline of future female engineers in the United States. Program participants are majoring in computer science at top universities across the US. Over 20 major companies have pledged to hire Girls Who Code alumni. Over 40,000 girls have participated in their programs and counting!

Speaking of their Programs

Summer Immersion

For girls in 10th & 11th grades, Girls Who Code offers Summer Immersion Programs, exposing participants to tech jobs and corporate work environments. For 7 full weeks, girls get on the job training at companies like Facebook, Microsoft and AT&T. The girls listen to guest speakers, participate in workshops, connect with female engineers and entrepreneurs and even go on field trips. The program culminates in a final project where they build their own products and share with their class.

If you or someone you know might be interested in the Summer Immersion Programs, you can sign up for the Girls Who Code mailing list and get notified when applications open in January!

After School Clubs

Girls Who Code also offers after school Clubs throughout the United States, open to 6th-12th graders. Hosted in schools, community centers and libraries across the country, the free Clubs meet for 2 hours per week, either after school or on the weekends. In addition to computer and internet access, Clubs provide a supportive network of peers and mentors for all girls who attend – as I mentioned above, an invaluable resource!

How You Can Help

Sign up for a SparkPost account today and select Girls Who Code as the cause you’d like us to donate to. Already have a SparkPost account? Share this post on Twitter, Facebook, or with family and friends. Want to do more than just donate? Check out how you can get involved in facilitating a club, or get your company involved as a corporate partner.

Jen
Social Media Manager, SparkPost

Oxfam International and SparkPost

***Program Update: We have now extended our Giving Program through the end of December 2016, so please continue to share with your networks and be sure to sign-up if you haven’t already!

 

November – it’s the month of Thanksgiving, awareness, and, for some people like my brother, ‘No Shave November.’ For us at SparkPost, we’re excited about doing some good with email through our SparkPost Giving Program. If you haven’t already heard, Jen just announced this new SparkPost Giving Program 2016 last week. For the entire month of November, SparkPost will donate $5 to one of three charities of your choice when you create a new account with us (even free accounts are eligible!) It’s as easy as pumpkin pie (or apple, for you Thanksgiving rebels)!

One of the three organizations we’ve teamed up with is Oxfam International. Before I get into the details of today’s Oxfam feature, first, a little history lesson. I promise not to put you to sleep! In 1942, when you and I were probably not even a thought, a group of Friends, better known as Quakers, convened in Oxford, England. They opened up a little corner shop called Oxford Committee for Famine Relief. Now, if I remember correctly from all my high school history classes, 1942 was mid-World War II. During this period, famine pervaded dozens of countries. This is when Oxfam stepped in with food, aid, and basic necessities for the poor. It was their mission to support the tens of millions of refugees in Europe. Today, Oxfam still has its gaze set on ending the injustice of poverty not just in Europe but around the globe. They have more than 70 years of experience in more than 9 countries! Some of those countries include Myanmar, Niger, and South Sudan, which I’ll expand on.

From Africa to Asia – Oxfam Reaches All

Oxfam International has been active in Myanmar (a.k.a. Burma) since 2008 where its mission is to champion women’s rights. As HRC once said, “Women’s rights are human rights.” Women have been able to organize, network, and actively influence political processes within their villages and towns. Oxfam supports about 30 female politicians and works to get their voices heard.

Niger, the least developed country in the world, suffers a plight of issues. Some of them include malfunctioning food markets and adverse climate change effects. Nigerians suffer from serious malnutrition causing nearly 50% of all child deaths. Oxfam has installed water points and sanitary toilets in malnutrition areas, helping 15,000 mothers and their children. They also train community members to improve hygiene standards and to keep children healthy.

For over 30 years, Oxfam has been providing clean and affordable water to families in Juba, South Sudan. In 2013, South Sudan experienced a cholera outbreak. In response, Oxfam helped more than 540,000 people get access to safe drinking water by constructing water facilities and training communities in Juba to prevent the spread of cholera.

Oxfam Blog

Why We Chose Oxfam International

We believe in Oxfam’s motto: “The Power of People Against Poverty.” This compelling statement summarizes their cause in a powerful alliteration of just six words. Poverty does not only have calamitous effects for those who suffer from it. Poverty affects us all and does not discriminate. In a study done by British epidemiologist Richard Wilkinson over the course of 30 years, he concluded that increases in income inequality directly translate to increases in health and social problems such as infant mortality and social mistrust.

This November, let’s fight the injustice of poverty – together. Along with Oxfam, we can be the voice of the tens of millions of underprivileged, underrepresented, and underfunded people. If you’d like to donate directly to Oxfam International, and to any of their nine projects, please do so here.

Already donated to Oxfam? Tell us about it! Learn more about our giving campaign and connect with us on Slack or Twitter.

Grace

SparkPost Giving - Do good with email

***Program Update: We have now extended our Giving Program through the end of December 2016, so please continue to share with your networks and be sure to sign-up if you haven’t already!

 

I’ve shared before that one of the reasons I love working for SparkPost is our commitment to our community. I am proud to work for a company that invests not only in its employees, but that also fosters positive relationships with the communities that our employees and customers are a part of.

That’s why, I am so excited to announce our SparkPost Giving Campaign for 2016. Here’s how it works: for the entire month of November, SparkPost will donate $5 for every new account created to one of three causes below on your behalf! That’s right. You sign up (free accounts too) and SparkPost donates.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting each cause, why we chose it for this program, and the important ways they are making a difference in our communities. For now, here’s a preview of each organization we’re donating to, along with links to more information.

sparkpost giving back charity options girls who code american diabetes association oxfam international


Girls Who Code

As members of the tech community (we have offices in SF alongside our headquarters in Columbia, MD and Seattle, WA), we feel it’s very important to give back to that space. Girls Who Code is a fantastic organization, dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology. Their initiatives include summer immersion programs and free after school clubs for girls interested in tech all over the United States.


American Diabetes Association

An estimated 29 million Americans are living with some form of diabetes* – that’s close to one tenth of the population! November is officially national diabetes month and because of this, we’ve decided to support diabetes research efforts and give to the American Diabetes Association. This organization funds research to cure all of the different types of diabetes that Americans are living with, and it’s a cause closer to our hearts that we’ll be sharing more about over the next month.

Source: American Diabetes Association


Oxfam International

SparkPost has worked with Oxfam International in the past, participating in their Trailwalker Japan event. Our team hiked over 100 Kilometers in 48 hours AND successfully raised over $10,000. Donations to Oxfam are used to implement improvement projects in many of the most destitute regions of the world. Oxfam’s mission is to help end poverty and provide vital relief following natural disasters and conflicts. You can learn more about the great work Oxfam is doing here.


How You Can Help with SparkPost Giving

Spread the word! If you already have an existing SparkPost account, share on Twitter or Facebook and get your friends involved! For anyone considering creating a SparkPost account, this is just the push you need to get your email programs going. In addition to solving critical business problems, you can give back to one of several great causes and truly make a difference. Win-win.

Let’s do some good — with email!

Jen

ps: Ideas for future SparkPost Giving projects? We want to hear ’em! Drop us a line in the comments below or on Twitter.