Updated: May 12, 2021
April 11, 2019 I began a second go-round of getting to work part-time for The Mountain (the first time was between a long time career and grad school in 2000-2001.) Both times a delight realized. When you love what you do, it doesn't feel like work!
My last day on staff this time was February 10, 2021. Between a minor health issue and the fact that my four (and only) grandchildren were going to be moving from their home since birth in Indonesia to Atlanta were major factors. It also happened that this decision afforded The Mountain an opportunity to hire a younger, very capable young woman, Hannah Leeper. Hannah is now is now directing MountainCamp while Beverly Cree is manning Development with the aid of Linda Sterner
As Homecoming approaches, I am flooded with remembrances of many moments that moved me while on staff in the Development office. Pre-pandemic, there were folks that I had a chance to interact directly with. Some attending programs, or volunteering. Some had just 'popped up' to see The Mountain after a long absence. To hear folks say how much their experiences meant to them or impacted them or their family members was truly heartwarming. It was wonderful, too, to hear their positive comments about how well The Mountain has been looked after.
During the pandemic, as you can imagine, things shifted dramatically. I was so glad that staff, leadership, and our truly amazing volunteers worked together to both help The Mountain both make it through this revenue crisis, and to work on important improvement projects! All this, when our hearts were breaking each day to be here WITHOUT our beloved guests! I came to realize just how much ALL OF YOU really missed being able to come to The Mountain for your retreats and events! It is YOU I am writing about. You opened your hearts and wallets to help The Mountain when our main source of revenue was no longer realized. Large and small donations, made in many different ways (outright gifts, new or increased monthly giving, full or partial forgiveness of refunds due, resposnses to fund-raising requests, membership donations, and more.) I have been witness to so much love!! A number of gifts were accompanied by handwritten notes of support, encouragement, and appreciation of the work of our staff. There were many email notes as well as phone conversations, brief or lengthy that expressed gratitude for, and appreciation of The Mountain's existence. Honestly, your repeated generosity of soul, spirit, and dollars felt like welcome rain on parched land to my own soul as I know how critical it has been for our special place to receive your support. Many of your words accompanying these gifts were shared with our hardworking staff. Memories and feelings that were formed from my processing of these many gifts, large and small, during this time continue to warm my heart. I thank you again for all your contributions towards helping The Mountain survive and thrive and for your continued needed generosity. Truly, you and your families are our life-blood and you are loved and appreciated beyond measure.
With immense gratitude and my warmest wishes for your and your family's well-being,