Back in September, during my "Adventures with Manny," I had the opportunity to meet Merith Basey who runs the AYUDA program. The mission of AYUDA is to emport young people with diabetes to be leaders of social change and in the process, it helps them become motivated to live happier and healthier lives. AYUDA takes volunteers to Ecuador and the Dominican Republic to help run outreach projects to help these countries. A key part of these outreach programs are camps for newly diagnosed children and youth.

I really believe that when you are struggling to come to terms with your diabetes helping others is really a healing experience. Volunteering in these programs not only shows these young kids that you can truly live a healthy, happy and productive lives, but the volunteers come away with same experience.

If you are a young teen or adult, please consider volunteering for this program, and as you make important decisions about your giving this year, consider AYUDA.

If there are others in the community that have volunteered or benefited from AYUDA, I hope you will comment on your experience.

Tags: AYUDA, Camp, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Teen, Volunteer, Youth

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