The 10,000 Toes Campaign has reached a significant milestone.
Funds raised through a special concert at Avondale Memorial Church (NSW) last month and at the South Queensland Big Camp have helped the campaign to hit a substantial figure: $A200,000.
Campaign manager Pam Townend said it’s exciting to see the number of people generously supporting 10,000 Toes, which aims to stamp out diabetes across the South Pacific.
“It’s exactly one year since the idea [for 10,000 Toes] blossomed,” she said. “As the year has gone on and God has kept putting people in contact with us, offering their support, I realised that this was going to be bigger than what I had ever imagined.”
Fundraising for 2019 is already looking positive: Australian camp offerings will again be allocated to the campaign as well as a percentage of the 13th Sabbath General Conference overflow offering. It is hoped that donations will exceed $600,000 by the end of 2019. [pullquote]
“Some of the funds have already gone into implementing initiatives like CHEP (Community Health Education Programs) for the first time, a vocational community health education program through Avondale, continued training for CHIP facilitators and completing over 12,000 health checks through expo events in Papua New Guinea, Solomons and Fiji. And next year we will build on that,” Mrs Townend said.
“It gives us the opportunity to go to the governments of the Pacific and say, ‘This is what we’ve done in two years.’ The potential is huge.”
A social media awareness campaign has also taken off. In just six weeks, the number of followers for the 10,000 Toes Facebook page has jumped from 2000 to more than 7500.
“In all aspects the campaign is going extremely well—with publicity, collecting the funds and reaching our strategies,” Mrs Townend said.
The three key strategies for 10,000 Toes are to:
- Provide testing kits to communities so that diabetes can be detected and treatment started promptly.
- Organise education campaigns to promote the benefits of healthy living.
- Upskill local health professionals to diagnose and treat Type 2 diabetes early and better manage the complications.
10,000 Toes is a joint initiative of Adventist Health and the Adventist Development & Relief Agency Australia.
* Those with a creative flair are being encouraged to create a 60-second video for 10,000 Toes, highlighting the crisis of diabetes in the South Pacific. There are three categories, with $4500 in prize money. Entries close on December 31. Details: 10000toes.com. (Note: funding for promotional campaigns and prize money comes from the South Pacific Division and not from money donated to The 10,000 Toes Campaign).