In the weeks and months after Dic Donohue was nearly killed in the Watertown shootout with the Boston Marathon bombers, the young officer was not only struggling to recover and get healthy, he was wracked with deep concerns about his finances and future.
A proud U.S. Navy veteran and Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority officer who had only been on the job for four years, Donohue wasn’t one to ask for a handout from anyone, despite his suddenly dire circumstances. But he didn’t have to as many people came forward to help him in his time of need, including the SPAM Benevolent Fund.
Donohue and a trooper who helped save his life, Chris Dumont, became friends after the Watertown shootout and were volunteering at a Red Cross blood drive in Dedham when SPAM President and Benevolent Fund director approached him.
“It was early on in recovery,” Donohue recalled. “For me, it helped out because it relieved some of the extra stress of loss of income and trying to rush back to recovery. I didn’t ask for it and I didn’t approach them. For me it was out of the blue and it was much appreciated.”
Donohue was out of work for months after he was struck by a bullet that nearly took his life during the April 2013 Watertown shootout with the Tsarnaev brothers. Donohue nearly bled to death and sustained life-altering injuries that ultimately forced his retirement. Donohue is now married with two young boys, ages 5 and 1, and teaches at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell while pursuing a master’s degree.
The gift from the Benevolent Fund was unexpected but Donohue, who himself participates in a wide variety of charitable endeavors, is appreciative of the assistance from his fellow first responders.
“There’s an underlying brotherhood,” Donohue said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re in California or here or anywhere in between. Small department, big department. At the end of the day, everyone is taking the same risks. Whether it’s a shooting, a line of duty death or an accident, we all try to make efforts to help show support and do some good for one another.”
Proceeds from the SPAM Benevolent Fund’s “protect & serve” specialty license plate will go directly to the support of first responders in need, like Dic, as well as the families of first responders killed while doing their job.