Donna Hawley was a Safe Haven volunteer with her church, Rock Spring UCC for several years, and was appointed one of the Coordinators of the program in the summer of 2016. She continues to volunteer with Rock Spring UCC with the same group of merry food prep friends, once a month, for the day workers in Shirlington, for a program known as SEEC.
Donna has been involved with serving food to others for much of her life. Her father was an innkeeper in Vermont and the family was expected to pitch in. She attended Northfield Mount Hermon School, a boarding school in Massachusetts. There, the founder, Dwight L Moody, insisted on educating, the hand, the head, and the heart. This philosophy resulted in all students working one hour a day to help the school run, in the preparation, serving, and cleaning up of all meals as well as the maintenance of the dorms and grounds and various other duties. Her specialty became the preparation of Sunday brunch pastries.
Donna graduated from Georgetown University and taught Spanish in the District for 18 years. In 2004 she adopted her son, Benjamin, from Guatemala and became a stay-at-home mom until his recent entrance into Middle School. Early on Donna joined a support group for parents who had adopted children from Latin America, LAPA-NCR, and became the Co President in 2015. She volunteered in their yearly Mis Amigos Culture Camp and in 2016, became the Co Director. She is a substitute Spanish and ESL teacher in Arlington County and also gives private classes. Donna enjoys speaking Spanish with many of the Safe Haven clients and relishes the camaraderie of the volunteers in the kitchen.