Our beloved founder, the Rev. Mary J. Harrington, died at home on October 26, 2010 after a long struggle with ALS. A memorial service was hosted by the Winchester Unitarian Society on November 8, 2010.

Instead of flowers the family asked that those wishing to make memorial contributions support the Rev. Mary J. Harrington Fund of Gulf Coast Volunteers for the Long Haul, 478 Main Street, Winchester, MA 01890.

Donations may also be made through this web site. Please specify the MJH Fund when contributing.

Please send contributions to:
Gulf Coast Volunteers for the Long Haul
478 Main Street
Winchester, MA 01890

 We rely on contributions to cover certain Long Haul expenses. Our volunteers are all asked to pay for their own airfares, and we also receive many other in-kind contributions, such as accounting services, graphic design and web design, either pro-bono or at a reduced fee.

There are no paid staff so 100% of your support will go towards off-setting on-the-ground expenses during trips for groceries (we do our own cooking), housing (we make a donation to the churches where we stay), accident insurance and van rentals. We estimate that it costs Long Haul around $350 per volunteer for such expenses. Adult volunteers are asked to make a $100 contribution towards meeting these costs. And in keeping with our commitment to bring youth and young adults on our service trips, we raise funds to underwrite the trip costs for younger volunteers.

Gulf Coast Volunteers for the Long Haul is a tax-exempt, non-profit, all volunteer organization incorporated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Checks may be made payable to Gulf Coast Volunteers and may be sent to:

Gulf Coast Volunteers for the Long Haul
478 Main Street
Winchester, MA 01890

We will send you a receipt that you can file with your tax returns. Thank you for your generosity!

Books for schools

Almost every school building in New Orleans was damaged or destroyed due to flooding. So nearly all of the books in their classrooms and libraries were lost. As a congregation or other community group you can sponsor a book drive and ship the books to:

Troy Peloquin, Volunteer and Donations Coordinator
Recovery School District
1641 Poland Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70117

You may contact Troy at
(504) 304-7084

We have found that local newspapers are a great way to spread the word about such book drives. Your local school libraries may also have more books than they need and can be a wonderful source of donations.

We urge all book drive coordinators to check out each book before shipping, to make sure that all donated books are in good shape, up to date in content, and culturally sensitive, as African American children make up over 95% of the student population in public schools in New Orleans.

Gift cards for residents

On every trip we meet and work with residents who have many more needs than we can fulfill. Gift cards to stores such as Home Depot, Lowe's and Target always help and will be put to very good use. We can make sure your donation goes to someone who really needs it rather than into the coffers of a large, bureaucratic organization with much less accountability.

Sponsor a volunteer for $250 or $350

If a friend, family member or co-worker is volunteering with us, you can make a contribution to Long Haul in his or her honor. Or please consider sponsoring a young person to make it possible for them to participate. All donations are gratefully received, and we will send the person you are honoring or sponsoring a card to share the good news.

Sponsor a service trip for $3,500 to $5,000

Because we are so thrifty, have developed so many local contacts, and work with volunteers who are so generous with their money as well as their time, a week-long service trip with 20 volunteers only costs a few thousand dollars for all of the on-the-ground costs involved. And each trip means that dozens of children and teachers in schools, and four to 12 residents who are rebuilding, will get the undivided energy and attention, the hard work and the listening ear of some very caring and committed people.

What we can do in a week is a drop in the bucket - nobody is more aware of that than someone who has volunteered. But we can help you make a difference and support something that genuinely matters. And we'll send you a detailed, engaging report that will bring to life not only what we accomplished with your support but an up-to-date snapshot of the recovery process.


Thousands of people have been casualties of Katrina, Rita and the levee breeches. Over 1,500 people died as a direct result of these disasters. Thousands more have suffered illness, injury, strokes, heart attacks, displacement, loss of community and broken hearts. One such person is Gordon Brockman, who was a resident of Slidell and a member of the North Shore Unitarian Universalist congregation.

Gordon was a victim of the nightmare bureaucracy after he lost his house and long-time partner, who suffered her own mental health collapse, as a result of the storm. He was a brave, determined person who touched many lives. He died alone in his FEMA trailer in April, 2006, from both a heart attack and a broken heart.

We established the Gordon Brockman Memorial Fund to honor his life and preserve his memory. All donations to this Fund are used for emergency assistance to Gulf Coast residents, including medical care, mental health services, building materials and small gifts for traumatized children and adults.

Donations may be made to:
The Gordon Brockman Memorial Fund
c/o Long Haul
478 Main Street
Winchester, MA 01890

Support these businesses

These are the local businesses that have offered us, and most importantly residents of the Gulf Coast, generous discounts, donated goods and outstanding service:

Laughing Buddha Nursery
4516 Clearview Pkwy, Metairie, LA 70006
(504) 887-4336

Mike's Building Supply
540 Brownswitch Rd
Slidell, LA 70458
(985) 641-8400

Whole Foods
5600 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 899-9119

Our Generous Donors

Winchester Unitarian Society
478 Main St. Winchester, MA 01890
(781) 729-0949

Yardi Systems
Corporate Headquarters
430 South Fairview Avenue
Santa Barbara, CA 93117
(805) 699-2040

First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston
53200 Fannin Street, Houston TX 77004
(713) 526-5200

Off The Record - a fabulous oldies band

John Hunting
George and Rebekah Richardson
Joan Smith

The Gann Academy
333 Forest St, Waltham, MA 02452
(781) 642-6800