2016 Outstanding Community Service Award: Donna Gatcha-Hines

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The 2016 Outstanding Community Service Award is being given to Donna Gatcha-Hines, for her long standing commitment to volunteerism and su

Donna Hines is the founder of The Lost Self: Life After Narcissism. After graduating with her MPA (Public Administration/Criminal Justice) she married a malignant narcissist for 11 yrs. Donna graduated with high honors and is a member of Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society and Sigma Delta Kappa. She divorced in 2013 which resulted in homelessness, bankruptcy, and long term unemployment. She’s currently living below the level of poverty with her 3 children (1 of which is medically disabled) while seeking employment. She was left without income, assets, savings, or credit and struggles daily to survive.

Her story of food insecurities and poverty was only one of 20 nationwide to be selected to be shared with Congress by Rosa DeLauro (D-CT):

 

“My son was born with a medical disability that caused stomach reflux. In order to eat, he needed a specific formula, which was extremely expensive. Thankfully, WIC was there to help out. SNAP and the National School Lunch Program were and are beneficial for our survival. My kids depend on nutrition and proper food, and without these programs, we wouldn’t be able to survive. The National School Lunch Program helps my kids tremendously because I simply can’t afford to feed them three meals a day.

 

During these times, nutrition assistance programs have been my life support. Because my children are able to have nutritious and healthy foods, they are happy and excelling in school. My son, who was supposed to have mental and speech delays, has overcome so many obstacles and continues to do well in school. His success and my other children’s successes are testaments to the impact and benefits of these nutrition assistance programs. I hope that Congress can see this importance and will continue to put more funding into these programs because they truly are a means of survival for us.”

 

Her self help page, The Lost Self: Life After Narcissism serves 45 countries worldwide in 45 different languages with nearly 24k members worldwide. This website was created to help people reclaim & rebuild their lives as they move forward from a narcissistic relationship.

In addition to raising her family alone she volunteers her time. She continues working unpaid with 12 nonprofits. Donna has achieved many national awards for public service. She is a national award winning freelance writer, national award winning volunteer, and worldwide advocate for domestic violence. She hopes to write a book and share her story in helping others heal to know they are not alone nor to blame once her children are grown. Congratulations Donna and thank you for all the work you do to improve our community through your website and your volunteering!