IF YOU ATTEND SERVICES AT SAINT JUDE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN BURKBURNETT YOU HEAR THE JOYFUL MUSIC OF DIANA "DEE" DORIA.
SHE HAS PLAYED THE ORGAN EVERY SUNDAY FOR MORE THAN 25 YEARS...
AND YOU CAN ALSO OFTEN HEAR DEE SPREADING JOY IN OUR "COMMUNITY"... AND FOR HER EFFORTS IN TRULY CHANGING LIVES WE HONOR "DEE" WITH THIS MONTH'S SPIRIT OF TEXOMA AWARD.
SINCE 1983 DEE DORIA HAS BEEN GREETING FOLKS WHO COME IN THE COMMUNITY HEALTHCARE CENTER WITH A SMILE... IT'S A JOB SHE'S BEEN ENJOYING FOR NEARLY THREE DECADES.
Diana "Dee" Doria says, "I tell everybody that comes in, if I see them struggling, that there is a program called Adult Literacy and it is there to help you, please look into it and I say you will be surprised how fast you learn."
AS A WICHITA ADULT LITERACY COUNCIL TUTOR, DEE KNOWS FIRST HAND, SHE'S TEACHING HUNG TRAN TO READ.
Doria: "He just is growing by leaps and bounds."
TRAN CALLS DEE "TEACHER" AND THEY DO FAR MORE THAN STUDY WORDS ON A PAGE... TRAN IS VIETNAMESE AND IS HOPING TO BECOME AN AMERICAN CITIZEN.
DEE SAYS WRITING AND READING ISN'T THE ONLY LESSONS STUDENTS LEARN
DURING LITERACY TUTORING.
Doria: "He is a go- getter and they were in an apartment and he wanted a home and he was worried that he wasn't going to be able to understand how to go to a bank and apply for a loan, so we kind of went over that and I helped him."
OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS DEE HAS HELPED TRAN GRASP FAR MORE THAN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
Doria: "I think it is starting to work in his everyday life, where he is getting more confident."
INSTILLING CONFIDENCE IS ANOTHER GOAL DEE STRIVES TO ACHIEVE WITH CHILDREN AS A CASA, OR COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATE.
SHE SPEAKS UP FOR KIDS WHO ARE GOING THROUGH A TOUGH TIME IN LIFE...
Doria: "It would be so hard to see them fighting the diseases they had, because their birth mother was taking drugs and I would go home and tell my husband...it breaks my heart I have to make it better."
SO DEE WENT TO COURT TO TRY AND MAKE IT BETTER AS THEIR VOICE IN CUSTODY COURT.
Doria: "When I stood before the court I was able to give, from my heart and from my eyes a good recommendation of whether to unify or to ask for them to give up their guardianship of the children."
UPON DEE'S RECOMMENDATION THE CHILDREN WERE ADOPTED BY THEIR FOSTER MOTHER.
Doria: "It was nice to see them just flourish and grow and be happy and that's all you want and loving and to see that we were making it possible for them."
DEE SAYS WHEN DECIDING ON WHAT RECOMMENDATION TO MAKE IN COURT SHE ASKS HERSELF "WHAT IS GOING TO BE BEST FOR THESE KIDS 10 YEARS FROM NOW?"
You have to look at the long road, you want that suffering to stop. They were going to have a better opportunity and they were going to be healthier and then maybe someday they'll give back because someone cared enough to make their life better and so maybe they will pass it on and say somebody helped me so it is my turn to help somebody.
DEE SAYS SHE JUST LOVES TO HELP PEOPLE AND IS HAPPY TO BE SOMEONE WITH THE SPIRIT OF TEXOMA.
DEE ENCOURAGED DOCTOR TINA MATHEW, ONE OF THE DENTISTS AT THE CLINIC, TO BECOME A LITERACY TUTOR AND THEY CAN ALWAYS USE MORE.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BECOMING A TUTOR OR HOW YOU CAN HELP THE WALC CALL THE OFFICE AT 766-1954.
YOU CAN ALSO FIND MORE INFORMATION AT THE WALC WEBSITE AT -- http://www.wfwalc.org/
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN GETTING INVOVLED WITH CHILD ADVOCATES CALL 1-866-766-0552 OR GO TO http://casawf.org/ ONLINE.
OWENS AND BRUMLEY FUNERAL HOMES CONGRATULATE DEE ON HER HONOR.