When the diabetes community comes together, great things happen. And one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen has been Spare A Rose, Save a Child.

Most people now know the origin story of this annual campaign. The short version is that back in 2013, a group of US diabetes advocates came together to do something for the global diabetes community. Using Valentine’s Day to signpost the campaign, the idea was simple: ‘spare’ one rose on Valentine’s Day and donate the saving to Spare A Rose, Save a Child. That one rose saving was enough to provide a month’s insulin to a child in an under-resourced country. All funds raised would go directly to the charity Life for a Child.

It’s really important to understand where Spare A Rose started, and the community aspect of the campaign. This didn’t happen for any other reason than a group of people directly affected by diabetes wanting to help others who needed it: for the community; by the community. No one took credit, no one was the face of Spare a Rose, no one raved about their involvement or contribution. It was about the whole community.

That’s where you step in. Because Spare a Rose is a community campaigned, owned by everyone who has anything to do with diabetes, anyone and everyone can get involved. And there are lots of ways you can do that.

Obviously, you can donate. (Please donate!) That’s the first and most important call to action here! And it’s easy – as easy as 1 – 2 – 3!

But also, we need to get this outside the echo chamber of the DOC.

Change your twitter and Facebook profile pics to highlight Spare A Rose and tell people why you’ve done it – and encourage them to as well. (Twibbon has a super easy way to do that here.)

The Spare A Rose site has lots of different images and messages you can share. Of course, use your social media reach, but also print some out and leave them around your office or local café.

Share, share, share! Amplifying anything and everything you see about Spare a Rose helps get the message out.  I make no apologies that my SoMe feeds will be seen as if through rose coloured glasses for the next six or so weeks. Roses are lovely. Spare roses save lives.

Last year was the campaign’s most successful ever, raising a total of USD$56,340 / AUD$79,447 (or 12 months of insulin and education for 939 young people with diabetes). We have a target this year that I’m afraid to say out loud, because it is so audacious, but if there is one thing our diabetes community does, it is come together for those who need it.

So, please, #SpareARose (or two, or a dozen) and save a child. Seems like an awfully good way to start the year.