Team Elise Walks in Portugal: Employee Volunteering


JDRF is always thrilled to see our organization and amazing fundraising families receive recognition from their companies for their passion to volunteer with us. Fred Cunha, who has served as the Walk to Cure Diabetes Plano Family Team Chair for many years, was highlighted in the below article in the corporate newsletter at Fred’s company DG for his fundraising efforts with their Walk Team, Team Elise.

Corporate giving is not only about money, it’s also about time…

At DG, Fred Cunha, VP of Affiliate Relations and based in Irving, TX, embodies this idea on the TV side. A father and a professional, he is passionate about volunteering for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, JDRF. Among other things, he organizes a team that walks to raise awareness and research money to find a cure for type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the beta cells in the pancreas. There is no cure and people with type 1 diabetes must take insulin in order to say alive.

Elise Cunha

Fred has gotten teams together to walk in the United States, in Portugal, and in Canada. It is service that reflects a global mindset, flavored with local appreciation. DG colleagues have joined and walked side-by-side on “Team Elise,” named after Fred’s daughter, a four-year-old who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes two days after her first birthday. According to Fred, this past September 2011, in Plano, TX, “Team Elise, had 117 people walking and raised over $16,000 for JDRF.” Many teams participate, serving to raise funds and awareness for the cause. “When you gather 8,000 people in one place for one cause, it is a very powerful experience,” says Fred. Visibility for the company is also raised. As a corporate sponsor, with a $2,000 donation to the JDRF, DG’s logo was prominent on the Team Elise USA t-shirt.

Volunteer work is an alliance, with a mutual advantage, between those who can give and those in need. Helping people brings delight to the spirit. We also get to enjoy fresh and stimulating themes. It gives us the opportunity of seeing the different skills our colleagues possess. Peers interact in new and meaningful ways.

Employee volunteers contribute to the double bottom line – business and social. Commerce thrives when society does.

Thank you to DG for sharing Fred and his family’s story of living with T1D and their fundraising efforts through JDRF to find a cure for diabetes!

To learn more about the JDRF Dallas chapter, visit our JDRF Dallas website!