Today was my last day working on the Gulf Coast. Though my last official day as Director was 16 May 08, Friday, there was really no way to not work on HOGC stuff until I actually leave the Coast.
So, I thank everyone for their support of Hands On Gulf Coast, our mission and the work we do. I also thank everyone for their support during our years of transition, evolving as the needs of the Gulf Coast communities evolve. It's not always been easy, but the constant evolution is necessary to continue to stay relevant to the recovery effort.
I thank my staff, AmeriCorps members, and long-term volunteers who really deserve the credit for making Hands On Gulf Coast what it is.
Caitlin Brooking is now the Acting Director of Hands On Gulf Coast. I know she'll do well in her role. Please give her the support she needs as she takes over amidst a challenging time.
My experience in Biloxi, MS has been one of the most challenging and rewarding in my life. It sounds cliche, but it is true. Where else do you spend 18+hrs a day working and (usually) feel great about doing it? We build homes and community for those ravaged by Katrina and ignored by many recovery systems and processes. This work, helping others, is so critical, that the gravity of its impact helps buoy you over the rough seas and setbacks.
I am proud to have served the residents of the Gulf Coast. I am proud that each of you felt the same compelling desire and need to help the Gulf Coast and chose to spend your time with us. Please continue your support of the recovery efforts, in general, and Hands On Gulf Coast, in particular.