In 2015, fashion and lifestyle brand Veronica Beard decided to pay it forward, continually. They launched their philanthropic arm, #VBGIVESBACK.
Each quarter, they select a woman who is making a difference in the world. This quarter, that woman has been Sarah Alter of Chicago. She’s President and CEO of the Network of Executive Women. Her charity of choice? JDRF.
“My husband, Michael, was diagnosed at age 22,” Alter shared in a blog post published on the Veronica Beard website. “There was no history of anyone in his family having had it. There was, however, a large footprint of people who were impacted by a variety of autoimmune diseases, and diabetes is one. He ended up finding JDRF, through his endocrinologist, when he was in his early forties. Michael had reached a point in his life when he realized his body had had enough.”
“Before, he was able to control his diabetes, but I wouldn’t say he was successful at managing it…Now thanks to JDRF, he can better control and manage his diabetes,” Alter continued to explain in the blog. “He wears a Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor…. As well as an Omnipod, which enables him to both read his blood sugars and inject insulin from his phone. Since adopting these technologies, he has seen radical improvements in his health and sugar levels, and in his overall ability to control diabetes.”
Fashion Forward, Female-Powered Philanthropy
Since the partnership with JDRF began on July 1 (the start of the quarter), a portion of every veronicabeard.com purchase has been earmarked for JDRF.
Veronica Beard employees have written notes of inspiration and support to be included in JDRF Bag of Hope bags. For three days–Sept. 14 through the 16—the stores have also offered a point-of-sale donation opportunity for Bag of Hope (100% of the proceeds will go to JDRF in support of Bag of Hope). In addition, for each of its chic leopard-print face masks sold, Veronica Beard donates one to JDRF.
The promotion will culminate with Veronica Beard Gives Back Day on Thursday, Sept. 24, during which 10% of the total of all store sales will go to JDRF.
As #VBGIVESBACK continues their support for JDRF, they are highlighting the stories of three additional incredible women whose work and fight against T1D is nothing short of inspiring.
Below, we share a sample of these stories—read them in full on the Veronica Beard website.
Katama Eastman, T1D parent, JDRF volunteer and advocate
“I had the honor of being asked to be the Family Chair for Children’s Congress 2019 (CC19). CC19 is an event that JDRF hosts every 2 years in Washington DC. JDRF brings kids from all across the US and international countries to DC to meet with their senators, representatives and embassies to lobby, advocate, and get support on important medical research and bills… My own daughter was selected when she was 6, and I was so fortunate to attend again with her as “Chair Kid” as a teenager now. Seeing these fantastic, talented, brave and outspoken kids speak to important leaders in our country about highly personal and critical decisions that affect their welfare was inspiring to say the least. I watched a 4 year old testify in front of a diabetes caucus of leading members of Congress while on live television, followed by another child who was also hearing impaired with diabetes who used sign language to convey his needs. My daughter found her voice in DC and felt heard and felt powerful for the first time in her young life. I will never forget that experience. Those kids played a huge role in helping the Special Diabetes Project (SDP), which funds millions of dollars to diabetes cure research, get renewed.”
Mary Pat Gallagher, M.D., director of pediatric diabetes at the Pediatric Diabetes Center at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone
“Over almost two decades of working with JDRF, there have been countless memorable moments. I think the ones that stand out most are meeting the families from my own practice at JDRF events. I hadn’t expected my participation to be so meaningful to my patients, and I am always moved by their reactions. I hope it helps them know how much I want for them to be able to live well with this diagnosis, and to ultimately help them find a cure.”
Natalie Stanbeck, T1D parent, sister, niece, and JDRF volunteer and advocate
“My most memorable moment was visiting DC and attending a Partner event where I witnessed the President of the organization get up and speak on his personal experiences with T1D. I was able to relate to his shared experience of growing up with his brother who also has T1D. He highlighted the psychological impacts that the disease has on those who live with it and having watched my brother struggle, not only physically but mentally, I could very much relate to every word. I was SO thankful to know that the organization was being led by someone with first-hand knowledge, experience from not only living with the disease but also having an educational and professional background in science. That filled me with so much hope, and confirmed that JDRF endeavors to do the RIGHT thing for the RIGHT reasons for people like my brother and daughter.”