E.J. Ferraro, Assistant Athletic Director of Campus Recreation at Iona College, Laura Saggese, founder of Wrap for a Cause and Carolyn Murphy, Vice President and Marketing Officer at Country Bank NY join Iona College students at the 2017 Manhattan to Brooklyn JDRF One Walk on September 24, 2017. Photo courtesy of Wrap for a Cause.

Diabetes is a serious disease affecting millions of Americans. Wrap for a Cause, a nonprofit mobile marketing program, has been helping the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF) raise awareness and funds for their mission. This year on Diabetes Alert Day on March 26th, the founder of Wrap for a Cause, Laura Saggese, is encouraging everyone to join the fight.

“We launched a Wrap for a Cause campaign at Iona College in 2017 that continues to increase support for JDRF,” said Saggese.

“By covering a school van in a custom vehicle wrap, the colorful design featuring the JDRF logo captures new eyeballs every time it drives down the street.”

The sponsor of the Iona van is Country Bank NY. The bank’s President and CEO, Joseph M. Murphy, Jr., explained the cause is very personal to the Bank, “We have two siblings who developed Type 1 diabetes by the age of seven. Our parents started the Westchester Chapter of JDRF in the 1970’s in an effort to raise money to find a cure for this devastating disease. Sadly our brother Chris passed away from diabetes in 2001.”

The success of the JDRF, Iona College and Country Bank NY partnership exceeded even Saggese’s expectation. “In addition to creating a lot of awareness and buzz, the van garnered enormous attention at the JDRF walk in the fall, plus provided a great opportunity to educate the student body and recruit volunteers.”

Saggese adds that the use of distinctive hashtags allows people to instantly increase awareness when they share photos of the van on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms.

In fact, charities from across the country have reached out to Saggese to join Wrap for a Cause after seeing photos of the van turned into a mobile billboard online.

However additional corporate sponsors are needed to underwrite the cost of each new initiative. Sponsors also benefit from the same increased visibility since the vinyl decal also features their company logo.

The Wrap for a Cause initiative has helped JDRF’s commitment to funding research, advocating for policies that accelerate access to new therapies, and providing a support network for millions of people around the world impacted by Type 1 diabetes (T1D).

According to JDRF, people are being diagnosed with T1D at a growing rate. It is not preventable, and there is no cure. It is an autoimmune disease where the pancreas stops producing insulin—a hormone that allows the body to get energy from food. To make a donation visit www.jdrf.org.

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