Sunday, February 11, 2007

At long last

Well, I'm glad that Luc and the building crew have taken up the slack on my blog postings. Hands On Gulf Coast has gone through a few transitions that have had me focusing my time mostly on a couple areas that didn't involve the awesome work the volunteers do daily in the field. Rather, I've been focused on internal issues of attending to the organization's structure and ability to deliver well-crafted service to the community from volunteers who care.

OK, what does all that mean? I took over as the Director in early January and have been trying to have the staff members focus on some house keeping items and the mammoth AmeriCorps program that starts (in earnest) at the end of February. It's been a tough transition in a lot of ways - unlearning old habits, relearning new ones, and spreading wings to go down a different path in a different way.

As a staff, we went to a retreat and planning session in Atlanta, where our parent organization (Hands On Network) is located. We had a couple goals, one of which was to ensure we can give the building program a real chance to become sustainable and understand how we can effectively fundraise. Both of these goals help us along the path of becoming an independent, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to serving the needs of residents along the Gulf Coast.

I think all the staff walked away excited about the meetings we had and about the potential for Hands On Gulf Coast to be a real force in the community. We're also really excited (and terrified) by the AmeriCorps program. Though there are new rules (it's a Federal program, there's a rule for everything!), it's an opportunity to strengthen our own organization while empowering our local partner organizations to continue helping the community.

Well, that's my management update. It's not glamorous like building or working with the Boys and Girls Club, but it's necessary to keep us moving forward. Hopefully, I'll be able to get back out to see the work in the field soon.

:: Chris ::

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