Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The beginning of the end of an era...

Today was a pretty big day...we began the long, sweaty, emotional process of moving out of our home for the past 3+ years, 2113 Pass Rd. I never imagined when I arrived here in March of 2007 that I would be the one person out of that team left here leading this project. And although when I arrived the walls were already covered with remembrances of volunteers come and gone, and this building has never been my actual home (although I think I've logged enough hours to claim residency at this point) I have to say this is probably one of the hardest things I've had to do since I got here. Most of what we did today involved sorting things, cleaning out rooms, and throwing away more pillows than I thought even existed, and I took on the task of taking pictures of everything on the walls. All day I thought about each piece, when it went up, and how many times I had actually sat down and looked at it over the course of the last year and a half. I started to take down some of the overflow t-shirts and posters that have been recently added on the first floor, and had to run back for the camera at least 3 or 4 times to capture more of this space before taking it down. I know it's just stuff, and I'm excited about moving to a new place, but I know I'm closing this chapter of HOGC's history.
I am pretty excited, however, that we now have a final destination for the infamous retired jerseys...they, and most of the memorabilia from the thousands of volunteers who have been here, will be preserved by the Katrina Research Center at University of Southern Mississippi. I am so glad to know that anyone who has been here on this journey with HOGC can come back to the Gulf Coast and feel like they're coming home (sorry, I know that was cheesy but I had to rep Mississippi for a minute).

6 comments:

Amanda said...

I can't imagine what that's like. My heart goes out to you.

I was there for a week the Spring before last. William and Mary. We had that poster board made to look like a postcard.

I bunked next to that quote you posted the picture of. I was there exactly a year after it had been written. It was a powerful time and I thank everyone who was there, the 200 people, I believe, who made that possible.

scentedpines said...

I helped take down beds with Sharice upstairs. It took realizing how much time I had spent in that building to see the subliminal memories. I'll miss Hands On deeply as much as I will miss my friends and bosses fading out into the world. It was a pleasure to serve with you.

Anonymous said...

I was not aware that HOGC was moving. I wave of memories swept over me while reading this post. I spent three months as a West Seneca Americorps volunteer through HOGC. The building, the people and the mission will always remain special to me. I can recall all of the old timers reflecting how they dreaded the day that the doors would be closed - and it finally came. I hope all is well for everyone who passed through the doorways of HOGC and that each has many blessings through 2009. Additionally, I hope that the great work of the organization will continue from it's new home. GB - Nick.

Eli Mitchell said...

I also didn't know Hands On was moving. It's hard to think of it without all the jerseys and posters of encouragement surrounding the volunteers. Good luck with the move - I know the Hands On spirit will follow you wherever you end up!

PS - Was the Dartmouth blimp still there? We made a pulley system so that it would be easier to pull back in when the time did come to take it down. (Go big green!)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I spent an intense week there in 3/07. I'm guessing you must have just started during the time our group was there. I thought I'd check to see how things are going and read that you're gone.

I'm guessing the overwhelming need has lessened.

What a time!

Anonymous said...

After nearly four years, for those who are still diplaced, still home-less, the overwhelming need has not lessened. When the FEMA trailers are removed on May 1, hundreds of families will lose the slender thread keeping them from hopelessness. While there are fewer people in dire straits, the Gulf Coast is still feeling the pain and loss of Katrina. We need able bodies and open hearts. It's not done yet.