Farewell to the Community

It was three years ago when I came to Red Lodge to serve as the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation’s first AmeriCorps* VISTA after Tracy talked me into accepting the position. I remember thinking that Red Lodge would be a nice place to spend a year before moving on to new things. Then a year turned into two and then three as I found myself wanting to see my project through to the end and not wanting to leave the supportive and amazing place that I’d come to call home. Recently I was asked if I have gotten as much out of the past three years as the community has and upon reflection the answer is 'yes.'

Not only did my professional skills grow by leaps and bounds in the last three years, but I had a pleasure of doing something with my life that made a positive impact on the world around me. I’m leaving a place that I know I made a difference, that I helped and that my presence will be felt even after I am gone. Over the last three years I served with an amazing organization with an amazing supervisor, board and staff that have helped me, supported me and encouraged me even when I wasn’t certain that I could see the project through.

In the past two weeks I have been told again and again thank you for the service I have done and that I will be missed. It is the same for me. I thank you for being such a warm and welcoming place where I could grow and learn. I will miss Red Lodge very much. I will miss the mountains, the dedicated spirit of volunteerism, meeting everyone you know at the post office, jaywalking across Broadway and of course the fantastic people that I’ve been lucky enough to work with for the last three years. You have a very special place in Red Lodge with great beauty and wonderful giving people who strive to make it an even better place. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your home. Hopefully, I will see you all at Fun Run for Charities 11.


Jessica Briggs,

AmeriCorps VISTA Red Lodge Area Community Foundation