I had the opportunity to talk with Dina about her connection to Tu Nidito and the why behind her volunteer commitment. She is simply amazing! Dina has a MSW (Master’s Degree of Social Work) and 33 years of experience in the field of behavioral health. She currently manages an outpatient clinic for CODAC, but that is not what brought her to volunteer with Tu Nidito.
15 years ago, Dina’s husband died, and she and her three children found their way to Tu Nidito. The time they spent here changed their lives. They attended support groups for 4 years. Tu Nidito gave each one of them a sense of community, providing a sacred and safe space to share their thoughts and feelings. Her children, Michaela (26), Rachel (24), and Trey (22) loved coming to Tu Nidito. After group, they would go to Baskin Robbins and share their experiences and decompress. Tu Nidito became a family ritual for connection and healing.
Fast forward to pre-Covid, Dina found that she had some extra time and decided to return to Tu Nidito to give back some of what she got from her time as a client. She knew first hand the impact Tu Nidito had on her family and wanted to help others travel their grief journey with the support of Tu Nidito. She loved that each of her children had their special support group and that she too could get support from adults, just like her, who were grieving as they helped their children navigate their own personal grief.
I asked Dina what helped the most.
“I had a voice and people truly listened and heard me,” she said. “Life moves on and at the end of the day, there is no-one left but you.”
At Tu Nidito she found other adults experiencing just that feeling and powerful connections were made.
As an adult support group facilitator, Dina hears her voice in those caregivers she supports. Sharing that they too appreciate a place to gather, to be heard and understood. Her group attendees are so happy to be at Tu Nidito. Dina clarified, “not happy in terms of being happy” however still happy in a sense.
Dina’s adult children are still very connected to Tu Nidito. Her oldest daughter, Michaela volunteered with Tu Nidito prior to moving to New York. Rachel, her middle child, is a current volunteer, having just graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Public Health.
I am honored to share Dina’s story with you all. You can learn more about her and her work in this article.
Director of Philanthropy and Communications