A Little Life Update
I have some news.
After three years, I'm leaving WCCO Radio and am heading down to the Caribbean.
I've accepted a volunteer position with All Hands and Hearts, a smart response team that has been working in the U.S. Virgin Islands since Hurricane Irma hit there last September.
Not exactly 'retiring to a sunny, warm destination' but it's something I have wanted to do for a very long time.
All Hands and Hearts is an internationally-recognized non-profit that works specifically with natural disasters and after seeing the devastation following Hurricane Michael, I decided now was as good as time as any to offer up my skills (and learn some new ones along the way).
I've been so fortunate to work with some really great people at WCCO Radio and I will miss those daily interactions. I'm also going to miss the kind listeners who kept me on my toes, who appreciated how much we put into our show on a daily basis. I've shared some of my happiest and saddest moments with you all and always felt nothing but respect and encouragement. You kept me coming back to the mic on my darkest days.
Here's a pro-tip for you: get yourself a partner who supports your crazy ideas, who tells you to go for it even when it means he will have to take on the extra responsibilities at your new home in order to let you chase your dreams. I'm constantly in awe of the man I get to wake up next to every morning; his heart is magic. John, I love you. Thank you for being my biggest cheerleader.
Everyone seems to have questions about my adventure so here's a fun little FAQ to help clear things up -- for you and my mother.
How can I help you?
Great question! This is a volunteer position so I will be covering the costs out-of-pocket (All Hands and Hearts will be providing me with housing and meals while I'm in the Virgin Islands). People have offered financial support which is incredibly generous. If you would like to help out, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can Venmo me @lindsay-guentzel. A huge thanks to the Rotary Club of New Prague and Minnetonka Docks for their generous donation to get me started. I'm honored to be a recipient of your kindness.
What will you do when you get back?
I'm not sure yet. This opportunity with All Hands and Hearts presented itself and was too good for me to pass up. And timing can't be perfect but this just feels right.
When I come back, I’ll be keeping my eyes open for a new opportunity. Television, radio, production, writing, social media. On-air, behind the scenes, freelance. Have an idea? Let’s chat!
I also plan to do more cooking demonstrations, make significant progress on my website and continue making community service a priority in my life.
What will you be doing there?
Things change from day to day. I will be working specifically on the island of St. Thomas. I expect I will be doing some 'muck and gut' projects -- taking out everything damaged by water and getting the homes ready to be rebuilt. The team has been on the ground there for over a year — there is a lot of cleaning, scraping, painting going on. Mold sanitation is also a huge priority.
I’m incredibly excited to join All Hands & Hearts — Charity Navigator gives the non-profit a 98.23 out of 100 rating when it comes to financials, accountability and transparency.
I plan to document my experience, setting aside time every day to write, take photos and perhaps even do some podcasting while I’m there.
My heart is so full from all of the support I’ve received so far, I can’t wait to get down to St. Thomas and do some good. Thank you for following along!
All the best,