July HOPE Heroes - Dina
About our HOPE Hero:
Dina was born and raised in the Washington D.C. area but is thrilled to be in Florida. She became an elementary art teacher after going to art school in Boston and decided to resign from being in the school system to pursue her passion for coaching power skating for ice hockey. Dina then spent 8 years working with a non-profit whose mission was to create a better quality of life for veterans and first responders. She has always enjoyed helping others in any capacity she can. Dina ran a skating program for outpatient veterans at Walter Reed Hospital for two years and was also involved with animal rescues for many years, fostering any dog she could. Now, Dina is primarily a painter and is in the process of trying to sell her work online. In her free time, she loves being creative, and seeing things that can be ordinary, become extraordinary with a little paint.
What have you learned while working at HOPE?
Everyone has a story and a journey. For some, life is more difficult than it should be and we should show compassion and empathy in any way possible. Whether making food baskets or Christmas packages for anyone in need, it is something that makes my day better hoping that whatever I do to help will create a smile and a glimmer of hope. The positive energy and enthusiasm of the staff and volunteers make me want to do more for the survivors, families, and children.
What motivates you to volunteer with this organization?
I love the positive vibe and how the volunteers and staff are so dedicated to working with and helping survivors.
What advice would you give to a future volunteer or employee?
I would tell them that positivity and a smile go a long way. Any type of volunteer work that can be done for the organization is valuable. Showing empathy and compassion is important and no judgment is important.
Describe the most incredible view you’ve ever seen.
Flying on a plane with the sunset coming through the clouds was incredible or seeing a huge double rainbow when the skies opened up after a storm.
Is there something that excites you so much it keeps you awake the night before?
I still wake up thinking about creative skating drills for ice hockey. I will also wake up with a thought on my next painting or an idea to add to what I am currently working on. I am constantly creatively thinking.
We truly appreciate all of your hard work and dedication to our mission!