Community Activities

My Community Activities - Sandra Donaghy for Criminal Court Judge


My Community Activities.

It is very important for me to give you a snapshot of my life outside of my personal side and my work experience.

I am an active member of First United Methodist Church in Cleveland where with my husband, Bob, sing in the Chancel Choir. My community involvement includes things like being a Red Cross volunteer and a Habitat for Humanity Bike-to-Build rider. Regarding mission projects, I believe individual responsibility also includes those less fortunate in the world. I serve on the Board of Directors of a nonprofit supporting The Mary Diana Samuel Home for Girls that houses, trains, and educates disadvantaged girls in Chennai, India.

During college, I took Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) classes but never served in an active capacity. My husband retired in 2001 after serving for over 28 combined years in the United States Army and the Tennessee National Guard. Military service is a family commitment and affects family dynamics. For the support I gave to my husband and his unit, I claim affiliation. My husband retired from the United States Army Reserve as a Major.

My recent religious responsibilities include:

First United Methodist Church, Cleveland, Tennessee

Member 1997 to present;

Sunday School Teacher for the new member class, 1999;

Board of Trustee, 2002-2004;

Staff-Parish Relations Committee, 2003 to 2008;

Chancel Choir, 2003 to present;

Chairman, Administrative Board, 2006-2009;

Lay Delegate to Annual Conference, 2006 to present, which also entails serving ex officio on the Staff-Parish Relations Committee and on the Administrative Board;

Certified Lay Speaker, leading Sunday Church Services within the Cleveland District, 2011 to present;

United Methodist Women, 2004 to present; and

Seekers Circle of the United Methodist Women, 2004 to present.

My recent responsibilities within the Red Cross include:

American Red Cross, Hiwassee Chapter, Cleveland, Tennessee

Board of Directors, 2004 to 2007;

Chairman of Disaster Services Committee, 2005 to 2006; and

Volunteer, 2004 to present.

Other affiliations are:

Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, Edward G. Ryan Chapter;

Bradley County Republican Party;

Tennessee Republican Party; and

Republican National Committee.

Other recognition not mentioned elsewhere:

In 1987 and 1981, I was designated as an, and listed in, “Outstanding Young Women of America.”

Unrelated to the courtroom and over the years, I have served on boards for non-profits and financially supported the efforts of organizations for the indigent. In private practice, I received satisfaction from pro bono referrals.

I have received great personal satisfaction from helping others.  Over time, I have volunteered for many organizations; always receiving more than I gave. I have provided direct service to others, served in leadership capacities, and given financial support as I have been able.

If I am elected as Judge, I intend to increase my community service.  I dream about visiting the orphanages in India and Africa, and joining the fight to eradicate malaria. On a local level, I would like to lend support to literacy, drug dependency, and the homeless.

My lessons in life include:

As a child, I swam competitively, participated in girl scouts, and worked in the family restaurant. When others were socializing, I had to wait tables. At times, I felt confined, but I learned to manage money, coordinate among competing objectives, and to develop people skills. I used these skills for more responsible positions, to organize my school work, and ultimately to propel myself into a top tier law school.

Along the way, I learned that successes are better and defeats not so devastating if you are surrounded by people that care about you. Family and my husband are steadfast. We have shared dreams and supported one another through loss.

Professionally, I use my experience, talents, and interpersonal skills to foster collegial relationships. I am a good listener and respectful of input from others, preferring to use a coaching style. I am goal oriented and seek relationships based on mutual respect.

My life experiences have given me insight, inspiration, and the wisdom that comes through perseverance. Each has been a stepping stone. I am a complex woman: a restaurant girl that liked math because others feared it; an attorney because of hard work; and a Tennessee wife for adventure.

My Community Activities.

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Sandra for Judge