Ona’s Message

Posted on Jun 4, 2018 in Events, General, Learn More | Comments Off on Ona’s Message

Ona’s Message

To my dearest EarthLinks community,

On my first day at EarthLinks, I drove Earl, the old truck, to the middle of nowhere, donned a bee suit, and learned how to harvest honey from a top bar hive.  I was terrified of public speaking, painfully shy, and knew nothing of homelessness.  From there, I have had the distinct privilege of learning, growing, and blossoming alongside the love and support that emanates from this community.  During my time here at EarthLinks, I have transformed into the person I am today because of the support that I have received from all levels of this organization, but also because of the challenges I have faced alongside participants.  I now have an understanding of what it means to be without a home, without a stable income, without a support system, and I have had the honor of standing by participants who dealt with these struggles everyday while I had a home to go to.  It brings tears to my eyes when I remember the moments where I was present when a participant opened the door to their apartment for the first time, witnessing the disbelief and the relief.  I have seen the impact that we have on each other, supporting each other through the losses and celebrating the successes.  I am so grateful for my time here at EarthLinks, for the experiences and relationships I have had with each one of you, and for your willingness to share your lives with me.  I have built a strong foundation here at EarthLinks, and it is on that foundation that I am able to step forward on the path for my life’s journey with my new position.


On my last day here, I submitted two grants, cross trained coworkers on how to pull outcome statistics from the system that I developed, laughed with my coworkers over our random lunch conversation about serial killers, and said goodbye to a place that has changed my life for the better. I now am a dynamic public speaker and facilitator, have broken out of my shell into my authentic self, and have broad understanding of the challenges that people are faced with in our society.  All of these transformations were because of EarthLinks, and I have seen similar transformations in all of you.

I am sorry that I was not able to be here in person to bid you all farewell as my new position required a last minute change of my schedule, but please accept my goodbye from this letter.  I will miss you all, but I also take a lot of EarthLinks with me.  EarthLinks, and all of you, will forever be a part of my life and I will always consider myself part of the EarthLinks community.  As such, I am leaving a heart-shaped flag stone with a loving note.  I know the message will fade, just as our time together in this capacity has come to an end, but the stone, and the impact we have had on each other, will endure.

With love,