For the Good of the Gulf: UNC Law Winter/Spring Break Pro Bono Project

Thursday, December 29, 2005

From Ellen, Staff Attorney, New Orleans Pro Bono Project

Our supervising attorney, Ellen, asked us to post this in order to provide a glimpse of life outside of the office. It is a letter Ellen wrote on December 1 to friends who provided support to Ellen and her family immediately after the hurricane:

"To all of you who thought to contribute,

First and foremost, Thank you! There are NOT words to thank you all properly. I also wanted explain the delay in sending this heartfelt thanks. Gayle sent everything as soon as was possible. Mail did not reach me even at my substtitute address (my parent's house some 32 miles from my home) for about 45 days. So even when I was at the reunion, I was not certain who had sent what, nor where anyone was living. Gayle did her best, but I didn't track the emails. Then there's the real reason. I could not bring myself to say thank you because that would mean I needed the help. Please do not misunderstand me, it is not a matter of pride...rather, it is accepting the ENORMITY of the personal and community loss. I will not go to my home in Jefferson, unless I have a specific purpose. To better explain, it is so emotional to pack up in the middle of the kitchen it takes about 4 hours to pack TWO moving boxes. And, then the feelings overwhelm and you cannot do more. By the way, this is apparently normal. Everyone here at the office describes strikingly similar feelings and experiences. So, I hope you will accept my delayed thanks. You have all given me so much more than money. The hope and strength I gained from each of you brings tears to my eyes. I feel so lucky and blessed to have such generous people in my life. Thank you one and all."

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