Our lives are marked by crossroads, moments of truth where decisions we make inexorably determine our future. Where do we go to school? Where do we live? Work? Who do we share our life with?
Back in 2007, I was at a “work” crossroad. I had spent many years at a local for-profit company, and I was doing very well. But as I neared my 50th birthday, I was restless and wanted to do something more meaningful. Willamette West Habitat for Humanity needed an executive director and I thought I might have something to offer.
Since then, we have accomplished a lot. Together, we built seven brand new Habitat communities in Washington County, housing 77 families. Plans are well underway for three more communities that will house 42 new families. A new home repair program now serves another fifteen aging citizens each year with critical safety projects. Willamette West donors and volunteers travelled together on four international mission trips, and our tithe contributions served another 208 international families. Finally, we purchased an office and warehouse facility in Hillsboro, assuring that Habitat will always have a home in Washington County.
Today, I find myself at another crossroad, that of retirement. It is time for me to make way for new leadership and I will be retiring on December 31st.
I could not be more excited about the immediate and long-term future of Habitat for Humanity here in Washington County. More exciting news will be forthcoming in January. Rest assured it will bring more of everything good that Habitat offers – even more house construction, more critical home repairs, and more opportunities for volunteers to help us. For our donors, it means seeing your donations work even harder helping local families.
Serving this mission has been a privilege. It has allowed me to work with many great volunteers, staff, and board members. I have had the honor of helping guide the generosity of countless caring people in our community, and as a result I have gained many wonderful friends. Best of all, I played a small part in helping deserving families build strength, stability, and self-reliance through homeownership.
Of course, old executive directors never completely fade away. I will continue to assist Habitat with a few special projects next year. I am also excited to join the ranks of our volunteers. Most importantly, please know that I will always be available to you. Thank you.