ADA's Gift of Hope program has raised more than $22.5 million for diabetes research.
Several years ago, David Maple was persuaded by one of his students to enter his work into the American Diabetes Association Holiday Art Search. Now, 6 years and six winning designs later, the Art Search has become an annual tradition for Maple, one through which he hopes to make an impact on the lives of people with diabetes.
As a fine arts teacher in Grove City, Ohio, Maple has worked with a number of students who have diabetes. But his knowledge of the disease extends beyond the classroom: Both he and his wife have type 2 themselves.
"I have a lot of students who are diabetic, we have friends who are diabetic, and I always dedicate [my artwork] to them, to the people who have this disease," says Maple.
By entering the Art Search every year, Maple is doing more than dedicating his work to others. He's helping to raise awareness—and more specifically, money—that contributes directly toward finding a cure for diabetes. Since Gift of Hope began in 1971 with a dozen Minnesota parents of children with diabetes designing and selling holiday cards, 100 percent of the proceeds have always gone directly toward ADA research.
Those donations have added up. In the past 37 years, the Gift of Hope program has raised more than $22.5 million for diabetes research. The catalog, too, has grown over the years, with an expanded roster of holiday greeting cards and gift items, an annual calendar, and a yearly ornament.
This year's catalog sees another addition: new features that give readers an inside look at some of ADA's programs and successes. "[We wanted to] talk a little more about what ADA does," says Diane LaFave, associate manager of the Gift of Hope program. The articles include spotlights on ADA's School Discrimination Hotline and ADA Diabetes Camps. Another features the story of an ADA volunteer and describes how he and his family have benefited from ADA services.
The catalog also includes a new MarketPlace page with special items and offers. This section shows readers how to make their own ADA holiday cards online using personal photos, and offers a 15 percent discount at www.1-800-FLOWERS.COM, with part of the proceeds going to ADA.
This year's 12th annual Holiday Art Search yielded nine new card designs. This includes Maple's "Love of Giving" card (above), in which he depicts Santa's sleigh full of presents outside an illuminated house.
"I was going for the giving feeling," Maple says. "The sled relates to Santa, and he's one of the biggest givers of all time."