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November 2019
Why Curtis donates to Donka and Donka’s Giving Tuesday Kick Off!

Here is a story why Curtis Grimm is a Donka Donor – a 2016 graduate. Donka provided me valuable experience with computers and how to look for jobs. Without this program, I don’t know if I would’ve known where to start. I know the college does not give one on one training like Donka. I would have had to pay for these classes, which would of cost me thousands of dollars that my family and I do not have. Donka will help me in the future because I learned valuable skills that I can use in my lifetime. It will also open new opportunities for that me that I thought were never possible. I am thankful for everything Donka Does and today I am a donor.

November officially kicks off the holiday season with the theme of being thankful in preparation for Thanksgiving and giving back to your local communities and non-profits on Giving Tuesday

What is Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday is a global giving movement that has been celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the United States) since 2012. Globally it’s recognized as the beginning of the charitable season when individuals, organizations, schools, churches etc. focus on their end-of-year giving to the community. Giving Tuesday is another special day to celebrate and encourage giving!

Please consider giving to Donka between November 1 and December 3. Your donation will be matched! Visit www.donkainc.org/donate


An Artist in Residence – Del’s Donka Story

Delizia DeBella, Del, visits art exhibits, explores the culinary world, and visits friends and family – all from Donka’s computer training lab located in the DuPage Care Center (DPCC) in Wheaton. For 17 years, Dell has been residing at DPCC after the death of her husband and when symptoms from multiple sclerosis and severe osteoporosis made it dangerous for her to live alone.

“It was a wonderful thing to be able to get training from Donka!” said Del when talking about her time in the computer lab – which is open during weeknights and weekends to Donka’s graduates. “No one is refused admission and that is a rare thing,” she continues.

Donka is a 32-year old nonprofit organization established in January 1987 by Don Van Haveren, a retired DuPage-area technology executive who volunteered at DPCC and recognized that assistive technology (AT) computer training could help residents increase their independence financially and socially. Assistive technology includes specific types of equipment, hardware, or software programs that allow persons with a physical, visual, or learning disability to use a computer with independence.

Del, who received her bachelor’s degree in art education from the Art Institute of Chicago and her master’s degree from Rosary College, is a retired artist and illustrator. After returning from an art fellowship in Florence, Italy, Del initially taught art in the public-school system before forging a career in advertising. She held a coveted position as an illustrator for Marshall Fields’ advertising department for many years – breaking ground in a profession that was dominated by men. When she retired, she was working for a construction and design company, creating illustrations for blueprints and interior design models.

At 90 years old, Del is still breaking ground as a senior citizen using technology to stay connected to the world, despite limitations in her mobility. Del graduated from Donka’s AT training program in 2012 and visits the computer training lab frequently during open hours to purse her interests and catch up with friends and family. Del is proficient in Microsoft Word and Outlook and knows her way around the internet. Donka staffs the computer lab with trained volunteers during open hours to assist graduates who might encounter challenges with software or equipment.

“I like to catch up on what’s happening with art exhibits, check out the latest news, and I do Pinterest,” Del states. And I really like to check out the food sites and find good recipes – which I sometimes share with the kitchen staff here [DPCC].”

Donka trains individuals with disabilities of all ages to use a computer on their own so that they can get jobs, study and attend school, or connect with friends and family using a computer or tablet device, such as an iPad. The organization’s overarching goal is to increase community integration and socialization for its students via technology. Students receive one-on-one instruction from Microsoft-certified trainers and learn business applications, computer fundamentals, Internet and email, social and business networking sites, and job-readiness skills. with a personalized curriculum that allows them to gain skills to access opportunities and resources to achieve independence and improve the quality of their lives.

“I like being able to look up everything from “soup to nuts,” says Del. “I really encourage anyone who needs this training to get to Donka. I am grateful to them. Thank you!”

To learn more about Donka’s AT computer training programs for persons with disabilities—and workshops for the professionals who serve them—call us or visit our website: www.donkainc.org / 630-665-8169


Congratulations Team Donka!

Thank you to all of our charity hero runners for Team Donka! You are heroes in helping raise money to support Donka in providing Assistive Technology and Training to individuals with disabilities. Thank you Kathy Mueller (Team Captain),  David PatsavasJulie Malone HolzhauerEllen And Josh ZiliakTim VonEschenJodi CanupLeanne S. Vos, Jared Muka, Vicki Muka, Rhonda Pavicich, Jayne Denwood, Linda Yurka, William Denwood, Hantac Chang, Greg Kunkel and Jack Vos!

We appreciate you!

Thank you to each of our CHARITY HEROES, pictured above, event sponsors, and all who contributed to raise money for Donka. We are pleased to report that over $7,000 was raised by our charity heroes, sponsors, and individual gifts.

Giving another shout out to Donka's 3rd Annual Race for Abilities 5K Run/Walk sponsors: Wheaton AM RotaryWinfield Knights Council 8002, Independent Rehabilitation Services, Inc., Gary StenoKiwanis Club of Central DuPage CountyWheaton Bank & TrustAmerican MRI, Joyce Van Der Molen, and Ayotte Decker, LLC. Thank you!

Assistive Technology Corner

Be My Eyes

Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call.

Read More

Seeing AI

A free app that narrates the world around you. Designed for the low vision community, this research project harnesses the power of AI to describe people, text and objects

Read More

First Then Visual

First Then Visual allows you to create and view easy to understand schedules. First Then Visual schedules can include text, images, videos, audio recordings, and "choice boards" that allow for interaction in a schedule.

Read More

Copyright © 2019 Donka Inc., All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
400 N. County Farm Rd.
Wheaton, IL 60187
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