The American Diabetes Association’s signature fundraising event each year is the Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes. This event by various names has been taking place for more than 20 years and in the last year was held in 120 locations around the U.S.
Most of these walks take place in the fall, though only some of these events actually take place during Diabetes Awareness Month. Either way, November is a great time to learn about the walks closest to your home and start to make plans to participate. You can visit the official Step Out webpage to find the date and location for your local walk.
If you’ve never participated in a Step Out event, here are some of the things you can expect.
• The Step Out walk is not a competitive event. The length and duration of the walk varies by location, but all are welcome. Families, kids, college students, grandparents—all can be seen walking, jogging, or strolling as they are most comfortable.
• A Red Strider is someone living with any type of diabetes who participates in the walk. Each Red Strider is given a red hat to wear during the walk and all are recognized in many ways.
• Some walkers come on their own to feel the strength and encouragement of being with hundreds of others who know what it’s like to live with diabetes. While others form teams and even make matching t-shirts to wear on walk day.
• Families, co-workers, friends, and church groups often form teams to support someone they know and love who has diabetes.
• The event is primarily to help raise awareness of diabetes and raise funds to help further the mission of the ADA. Once you register, the ADA provides plenty of tools and support to help you fund raise. Your supporters can even donate to your cause online and you can share the link on your Facebook page. But don’t worry, there is no minimum level to be able to participate. Everything helps.
The ADA funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Their stated mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.