Safesittings.com and How it all Began


 

Have you ever tried to teach a babysitter how to test blood sugar, manage a pump, draw insulin or count carbs? As a teen/young adult have you ever thought of using your experience with Type 1 to be a babysitter? Few people understand the constant vigilance required to manage Type 1 diabetes, but I knew I had these skills as I had been managing my own diabetes since I was 11.

After overhearing parents of children with T1D discuss the difficulty of finding childcare, when I was 14 I created a network of teens with T1D in NYC who had the needed experience to babysit for children with T1D. Using a grassroots approach, I presented my idea at the next meeting of school nurses. The enthusiastic response helped the word spread quickly. With this positive momentum, I reached out to hospitals and endocrinologists. During monthly meetings in my mom’s kitchen, the other teens with T1D and I brainstormed how to be mentors and role models to children with T1D and how to spread the word of our new babysitting service. “We have it – we know it!” was our slogan.

When the Wall Street Journal and ABC News caught wind of our unique service, the overwhelming response prompted us to expand nationally, through an online platform. In 2006, Safesittings.org officially became a 501C3 organization, offering service to families and children all over the United States and Canada.

Now 15 years after I came up with the original idea, I am excited to announce that Safesittings.org will become part of the Beyond Type 1 organization. By joining the team at Beyond Type 1,  we will be able to serve a greater number of families around the world.

My experience as a T1D babysitter has been one of the most fulfilling things in my life. Giving parents a much-needed break is rewarding and even more so is the wonderful bond created with the children who also have T1D.


Check out SafeSittings.org here.

WRITTEN BY Kimberly Ross, POSTED 02/16/16, UPDATED 03/26/19

Kimberly was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 11 and started SafeSittings at the age of 14. After graduating Dartmouth College in 2011, she worked for two years at the National Football League followed by 2.5 years in Real Estate Development at Related Companies. A recent graduate of Harvard Business School, Kimberly is once again living in New York where she enjoys cooking for friends, fitness and skiing.