In 1984, Donna Coroiescu and her husband left communist Romania with four small bags and two children who were only a few months old. Donna and her family came to the U.S. legally as Christian, political refugees.
In their first years in the country, Donna and her husband, Dinel, took on any jobs available. “I started cleaning houses, I cut grass, we painted,” said Donna. “We did anything and everything we could just to make something for ourselves.”
Dinel and Donna now own and operate D & D Roof Services, Inc., a top commercial roofing contractor in the U.S. Theirs is the story of the American dream as told in movies and myths.
“If you don’t believe that miracles happen today, I am one of the miracles,” Donna said, referring to her family’s journey and everything she has had to learn, including managing the company’s finances.
Helping Children in Moldova, India, Central Africa, and Sri Lanka
Donna has built a life without a blueprint. What her family owns today came despite the little help they received from strangers and the barriers they had to overcome. Donna has not forgotten the challenges that exist in other parts of the world like those she faced in her childhood. She has been incredibly generous as a donor and supporter of CERI for the last 20 years, traveling as often as four times a year to help children and their families in Moldova, India, Sri Lanka, and other countries.
Donna and CERI volunteers would visit three orphanages, a handicap institution, and three villages on their many trips to Moldova, delivering medicine and boots through truly personal connections. Today, Donna is passionate about supporting the work CERI does in Sri Lanka and through partners in India to empower women.
Empowered Women Empower Women
“Women and young girls – even as young as 6 years old – are abused … and I feel that we can teach those women that they don’t have to stay in that situation,” said Donna. She believes girls’ education and an understanding of their own strength will lead to their best futures.
“One of the things that’s really on my heart is the fact that women are considered just a necessity,” said Donna. She knows that women in many countries are told daily that they’re nothing more than an accessory to the men in their lives.
“I think that if we can teach women that the most important thing for their daughters is education – is teaching them to be strong – it will change their minds and their way of looking at life.” – Donna
In the future, Donna hopes to go on a medical mission to India or Sri Lanka and to continue connecting with people around the world, reminding them, especially women and girls, that they are strong and capable.
When asked which women are shaping history today, Donna mentions Elaine Hamilton, a friend of nearly three decades. “She is a very strong Christian woman, and her heart is into missions,” said Donna. “She’s been such a great example of a humble servant.”
Advocating for Children
Donna also sees history being made under the leadership of Connie Belciug, CERI’s Executive Director. “I love her dedication to help others – her heart and love for vulnerable children and women,” said Donna. “I’ve been with her on several mission trips, and I just love watching her interact with the women and children, and her passion for trying to work with the government to assure that those children get an education, have a better life, and have a roof over their head.”
It is not only women in the modern world that Donna admires for the history they have made. Biblical women, like Ruth, also shape Donna’s path in life. “What fascinates me about Ruth’s story is that she was just an ordinary woman – she didn’t have any wealth or position – but she was so brave and her faith was so strong,” says Donna.
A Christian Organization that Gives Back
The book of Ruth is only a few pages in the Bible, but within its four short chapters is a story that altered Christian history. Ruth’s son, Obed, was the grandfather of King David. In the lineage of Jesus Christ in Matthew, Ruth is one of only four women named in a list dominated by men. Ruth left her hometown to save her family’s legacy and its future. Without Ruth’s loyalty to her mother-in-law and to God, the lineage that led to Christ may have been very different.
“To me, her bravery, faith, and obedience can encourage us to be better followers of Christ,” Donna said.
Beyond Ruth’s story, the Bible is a guide to Donna’s life every day. It is the reason she donates her time and money to CERI. “Just the fact that God gave his son; it’s almost impossible for me not to give back,” she said.