Deborah Tally (Debbi) is a 2012 Jefferson Award winner. She has been volunteering with the Diabetes On Target Groups (3 monthly diabetes education & support groups), private diabetes education & support, & the Southern Tier Diabetes Coalition for seventeen plus years. During this time, she has dedicated countless hours helping people do what she has been doing her whole life, live a healthy life with diabetes. She states that she has had diabetes since 1959. Since she has a wide range of up-to-date diabetes knowledge (well-taught to her by her endocrinologist of 25 years), she decided it was time to spread her knowledge with other people in her community. She also started volunteering so much because people asked for her help, whether helping them with their diabetes, employees with diabetes and/or family members with diabetes.
Her favorite part of volunteering is when someone she’s working with to help deal with their diabetes accepts that they have diabetes and learns to deal with their diabetes, by making better lifestyle changes. Her biggest challenge when it comes to volunteering is to not get discouraged, stating, “You can teach people right from wrong. The choice is theirs and some do not choose to change”. She also believes that it is important to give back and volunteer because people need people, in many ways. It helps a volunteer to feel good about what they are doing and they want to continue to help others. It may be free work, but the rewards are priceless.
Debbi lives in Bath, NY. When she is not putting in her many hours of service to the community she enjoys work with training her puppy to be a therapy dog, making jewelry, reading, & enjoying time with her friends and family.