The Duck continues on strong and the team is transforming just a bit. Over the last year or so, it's been tough to really change the activities of a few folks, but we've made a conscious effort at the beginning of 2010 to truly grow the analysts on my team and I think it's working out well. We all sat in a room and came up with our goals for the upcoming year and now that they're posted outside of my cube, we can all hold each other accountable. Some want to go back to school and still some more want to get more involved in extra-curriculars while two others are on their way to baby parenthood.
We did come up with a team goal to trim ourselves down around the edges, a "Biggest Loser Campaign" if you will ... but, they came up with a better name: Sir Runz a lot and his Heft Friendz, yes I'm still laughing. Thirteen weeks from now we'll step back on the scale and hopefully achieve our goal of losing pretty much an entire person, 140 pounds:) In addition to that, we gathered for a delayed team Christmas party at the pad ... only a month late! We all had a great time having a dirty Santa gift exchange, eating some burgers and playing some board games. I have to thank my team for my gift ... an afternoon of paintballing with the crew, it's going to be a blast!
This past week also brought my 4th trip to New Orleans (Nawlinz) for hurricane relief. Some may believe that since it's not in the papers or headlines anymore that there isn't work to be done, but I know that there is at least another decade of assistance needed in the area. It's so good to see the progress over the last five years, but parts of the ninth ward and outside of the French Quarter are just saddening to the heart knowing so many people have left and will never return.
This year I brought 11 pals from Columbus down to Camp Hope to help revitalize the area. You can't beat a school full of bunk beds where grown adults convene for some camraderie and service. Although the first couple of days were pretty dreary with spotty rain we took our world renown painting skills to Habitat for Humanity. Friday we painted the entire outside of Ms. Joyce's home which was followed by Saturday's indoor excursion. Nothing like a fresh coat of paint to truly make a house feel like a home. We met some amazing volunteers, but the most rewarding was late Saturday afternoon when the soon-to-be owner Joyce came to tell us her story. Ever since the hurricane 4 years ago, she and her family have been living with friends. She has put in many hours to earn her Habitat home and jumped for joy seeing the new paint on her pad. She's never had her own shower before and hearing her story made all the muddy steps worth it!
Saturday also included a trip to Bourbon street for the festivities after the Saints win. I never could imagine how much a city could be lifted up by a sports team, but this football team truly brings hope to those that are a part of New Orleans. But, we decided to make a splash of our own with the "I gotta feeling" flash mob. Although I can't show you the video quite yet, just imagine a group of ten people breaking out in a choreographed dance in sync on Bourbon street. O yes, and two more times the next day in the French Quarter. I want to build the momentum for the video next week as it's my dream to have a YouTube video with >1,000 hits ... so I'll have to leave you guessing on what it's all about:)
Giving back didn't stop in New Orleans though as the day after we returned to Columbus was my first day as the Chair of the Literacy Alliance. Our first quarterly meeting of 2010 welcomed new board members, fresh ideas and a challenge in this economic time to meet the needs of a community. We started the year off with a bang though with our 2nd annual "It's All About Words" event. Every one of the 30 some elementary schools and more than thirty community members painted their favorite word/phrase on a canvas to raise awareness about the importance of literacy. A silent and live auction headlined the event that helped us raise over $1,000 for the cause. I'll have to admit, being the auctioneer for the live auction was quite fun indeed, but I'm going to stick with my day job:)
Amidst an age of technology, Twitter, Facebook, PS3s and Wiis ... we can't forget to engage our families in the lost art of loving to read. Now I have to admit my new Financial Accounting and Marketing Management textbooks aren't the most exciting, many others have captured my imagination over the years. My morsel of the week is for those young readers to be out there, "Books, I found, had the power to make time stand still, retreat or fly into the future." ~Jim Bishop
Jenny is excited to be headed back home this week to visit her little nephew Landen for the first time. I don't know what Caden and I are going to do, I'm sure we'll have lots of parties:) I look forward to getting you a couple videos next week for your viewing pleasure, but until next time ... have a great week!