John Bunyan, author of the influential spiritual text, Pilgrim's Progress, once said, "You have not lived until you do something for someone who can never repay you." It's an inspiring thought, and one which, like Bunyan's famous book about one man's spiritual journey, challenges us to think about what is truly important in life on a day to day basis.
But what if you are the one who has been the recipient of more than you can ever repay? How do you express gratitude when "thank you" is completely inadequate? GOALS is infinitely indebted in this way to someone - someone who has given us more than we can ever repay, in the form of support, leadership, inspiration and, perhaps most importantly, a visionary belief that GOALS had the power to change thousands of lives in Haiti through sport, all the way back in 2010 when we were still making plans and testing the waters.
While you may be familiar with the GOALS' story and how founder Kona Shen and Executive Director Jolinda Hackett created and shaped our award-winning sport, health and educational programs, you're less likely to be familiar with the name Paul Sorensen, who was working behind the scenes every step of the way telling us it was possible and helping us make it happen.
After serving as GOALS' President of the Board of Directors for nearly five years, Paul has stepped aside to allow fresh leadership and new growth, and while we're sad to see him go, we're thrilled to welcome two new board members to the team:
- Toby Simon has been integral in shaping GOALS' sexual health curriculum and leading our coaches in seminars to develop personal leadership and address gender-based violence in Haitian communities.
- Scott Jackson is a Peace Corps alumni and soccer player who works with Haitian American immigrant students in Brooklyn and is already contributing to our organizational growth.
A simple "thank you" could never be enough to express our gratitude for what Paul has done for GOALS' children, families and staff. We know that we couldn't possibly say "thank you" enough times, but, well, we still wanted to try: