Tragic losses, near-death experience ignited spirit of volunteerism for Philipsburg native
Press Release (ePRNews.com) - CLEARFIELD, Pa. - Apr 21, 2017 - Donald Dinant lost both of his elderly parents to cancer in a relatively short span in 2003 and 2004.
Less than two years later, after Dinant retired with more than 35 years of service in the Penn State University controller’s office, he nearly died during surgery.
“In March 2006, I had an operational procedure in which I lost my life,” Dinant said. “Just prior to losing my life, in which I knew I was dying, I told God it was OK because I was ready. During this time, three ministers, along with family and friends, were praying for me. The doctors met with my family saying if I survived, I could be paralyzed because of the time which I was gone.
“I truly believe God restored my life so that I would be able to help others during sickness and grief,” Dinant continued. “When the opportunity presents itself, I talk to others about eternal life. From then until now, I have been a hospice volunteer helping those who are sick. My goal in life is to help those who are sick in showing them others care and provide them with the dignity they deserve.”
The XX-year-old native of Philipsburg has succeeded in his ongoing mission. Dinant is a volunteer at Colonial Courtyard at Clearfield senior living community, where he has been put in the spotlight during National Volunteer Month in April. National Volunteer Week is April 23 to 29.
“Donald is an excellent example of the importance of our volunteers,” said Rebecca Dale, Executive Director of Colonial Courtyard at Clearfield. “His kindness and ability to relate to our residents, especially those facing physical and health-related challenges, has made Donald a very special part of our team. We thank Donald and all of our volunteers during National Volunteer Week.”
Dinant said the care provided by Clearfield Hospice to his mother and father during their illnesses inspired him to give back.
“Being a hospice volunteer, I am able to assist patients in many ways,” Dinant said. “I want to help in their care and try to comfort them during terminal sickness and with the loss of loved ones. When Colonial Courtyard at Clearfield reopened (in 2016) after the terrible fire (in 2013), I had the desire to once again return there to help work with the residents.”
Dinant also volunteers with the Clearfield Hospice team. At Colonial Courtyard at Clearfield, he likes to establish a bond with the residents and their family members.
“I enjoy direct contact with the patients and being able to show them others do care,” Dinant said. “I want to be of assistance in helping them adjust to being a resident of a senior living facility. I enjoy working one-on-one with the residents, earning their trust in that I’m there to be of help to them. I try to share outside activities with them as well as being a listening ear when they need to share what is happening in their life.”
Dinant’s weekly visits have become a special part of the routine at Colonial Courtyard at Clearfield.
“As with most volunteers, Donald stated he does not need or seek any recognition, and he loves visiting with the residents,” said Sandy English, Director of Sales and Marketing at Colonial Courtyard at Clearfield. “He has done a lot of one-on-one visits with the residents every week since he started in October. Donald is always willing to talk with the residents and help out in any other way needed.”