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Photo of Dana Bolin
Thanksgiving Week heralds the gift countdown to Christmas, a perfect time to honor the best gift we're given every week: our volunteers, our tiny organization's lifeblood. Their commitment keeps us running. Their compassion  fuels our souls. We thus present you our longest serving volunteer, interviewed by a student volunteer.
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Interview with Dana Bolin
By: Matea Stanisic
When I first started at Opening Doors International Services (ODIS) as a legal intern and volunteer in April 2021, I had the honor of meeting, and being trained by Dana Bolin. Mr. Bolin started volunteering with ODIS after signing up at a Festival in 2006 while living in Fort Worth. He has since moved to Denton, and is going on his 15th year coming every week!
Prior to his volunteering days with ODIS, Mr. Bolin spent many years working with GTE and Verizon. He went to college at North Texas State University (as the University of North Texas in Denton was called until 1988) where he majored in math, and as part of graduation requirements he had to study a language – he chose French. For three years, he took French language classes, but he found he missed Spanish, which he had learned in high school. Due to this, he decided to find a way to allow him to learn and speak Spanish again. He moved to San Angelo, Texas, and then traveled to Mexico with his wife, a now retired Spanish teacher. Additionally, after he retired, through a Spanish immersion school he found on his own, Mr. Bolin visited and lived with a family in Guatemala during their dry season (January-February) for 2-3 weeks at a time. He participated in this program for six years and even volunteered at an orphanage in Guatemala where he was able to speak and practice his Spanish skills.
As for his family life, Mr. Bolin is married, and they have two daughters. One of their daughters moved to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico with her significant other because they wanted to live on a beach. The other daughter lives in Bridgeport, Texas.
Mr. Bolin remains in the Denton area and has volunteered with ODIS for 15 years so far, which the organization is very grateful for - I believe I can speak on behalf of everyone who has met him when stating this!
When asked about a memorable case he’s worked on while at ODIS, he recalled a time when DACA first started – that is, soon after June 15, 2012. As Mr. Bolin told the story, he met a young man of Hispanic descent from Decatur, Texas who was on his senior year of high school. Much to his surprise, he had a deep West Texas Cowboy accent! Since then, this anecdote has become a vivid memory that he often shares with new friends and acquaintances.
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Matea Stasinic has been a legal intern and volunteer at ODIS since the Spring of 2021. Her assistance has been crucial for us during this time of COVID and she’s helped in various capacities: from regularly performing Technical Reviews to diving into tactical endeavors like helping review client files in storage for obsolescence and digitalizing those still current. Her higher education journey includes earning a bachelor’s degree in International Relations at Austin College followed by a master’s degree in Conflict Resolution, with the personal goal of joining the Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer, being a Mediator in the US, or working for the United Nations. She’s also a swimming instructor and Water Polo coach.
 
What better way to give thanks than to give? November 30 is Giving Tuesday, a worldwide event when people donate to or pledge to volunteer at charitable organizations. It's only three days away! 

You can donate through our web page: https://www.odisinc.org/donate

You can sign up to volunteer at  https://www.odisinc.org/volunteer

Every dollar you donate to ODIS and every hour you volunteer with us go directly to support our low bono and pro bono immigration legal services.
By volunteering you will be directly helping neighbors in their journeys through the U.S. legal immigration system. You will have the opportunity to accompany them through this often complicated process.

Join us! And thank you for supporting our mission.
 

URGENT REMINDER

Please add your comment to proposed DACA Rule

2022 is the tenth anniversary year of the DACA program, and the U.S. Government Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is proposing a new rule revamping it, partly to comply with a current order by a Federal judge in Texas.
You can help shape the final version of that rule by submitting a comment. The last day to comment is November 29, 2021. Commenting is simple, can be done in any language, and by anybody living in this country.
Comment suggestions:
1. Every year, less and less people qualify for DACA because they came to this country after June 15, 2007, for example. What if we advanced the clock 10 years? A whole new generation of youth would qualify and take advantage of this great program.
2. Add DACA recipients to the list of immigrants whose work permits are automatically extended 180 days if they file for renewal before their current work permit expires. This provision will reduce anxiety and devastating consequences of lapses in DACA coverage for individuals.
3. Issue Social Security numbers and Federal IDs to people requesting DACA only, if that option becomes part of the final rule. These will provide official US government identification to them.
Here is a list of helpful sites that make commenting simple and suggest a broader set of topics for comments:

National Immigrant Justice Center

United We Dream & Home is Here

Immigrant Legal Resource Center


Or, if you prefer to go straight to the source with your own comments, there's always the official U.S. Federal Government comment site, which is also quite user-friendly.

Over 600,000 current DACA recipients and possibly many more will effusively thank you for your positive comment!
 
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2200 N Bell Ave, Denton, TX 76209
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Butterfly artwork by Blanca Tovar, DACA recipient

 






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Opening Doors International Services, Inc. · 2200 N Bell Ave · Denton, TX 76209-2013 · USA

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