Monday, February 09, 2009

Hands On Gulf Coast is movin' on up

It's been a whirlwind few months since November, and I thought I would provide a more detailed update about HOGC's progress. I looked back at the past few entries and realized there was never an official update that Hands On Gulf Coast has been granted 501c3 tax-exempt status, a federal classification that allows us to operate independently. If you're not familiar with non-profit-ese, it basically means we are a legit, locally-based nonprofit organization. This is exciting because it means HOGC will be able to function as a permanent fixture in the up-and-coming nonprofit sector here along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and will continue our mission to address the most pressing needs along the Gulf Coast through volunteerism!
On January 12, HOGC welcomed its third team of AmeriCorps*State members, 27 lovely rays of sunshine from across the country who arrived here to coordinate volunteers, rebuild homes, reach out to youth and underserved populations, and generally make the Gulf Coast a pretty sweet place to live. These folks will be working hard all year to reach out to organizations in the area to launch our local volunteer projects, continue the post-Katrina rebuilding work, and engage the Gulf Coast in high-impact service. The team kicked off their service with a week of orientation followed by a Day of Service with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration. We also welcomed two Alternative Spring break coordinators from Dartmouth College to coordinate our 4th ASB program in March, which I am sure will be well-documented on this blog, so stay tuned for that!

As of January 31, we have also completed the move out of our office/housing facility at Beauvoir United Methodist Church on Pass Rd. After three great years, and many many memories, we made the decision to partner with other local organizations to continue to house out-of-state volunteers as necessary, and pursue a permanent office space in the Knight Nonprofit Center. The Knight Center is a brand new facility on Seaway Road in Gulfport, and is an exciting development in the growth of the nonprofit sector here on the Gulf Coast. The Knight Center houses several local nonprofits, including the Boys and Girls Club administrative offices, the United Way of South Mississippi, the MS Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, the Knight Foundation, the Mississippi Case Managers Consortium, and many other organizations. This move is an opportunity for HOGC to further integrate into the local nonprofit sector, and to forge exciting new partnerships with these other organizations. We will be moving to our permanent space in May, and are currently residing in a temporary office generously offered by one of our Board Members, Steven Palazzo, in Woolmarket.

Definitely more to come on what HOGC is up to in '09, and I've added a few of the new AmeriCorps members as contributors so you don't have to deal with my ramblings all the time.


1 comment:

K.J. said...

Whoooo! HOGC 09! We rock!