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Family Matters

Mike Lee

Mike Lee, a native of Chicago, graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Creative Writing. At LMU, Mike developed international and domestic volunteer trips and served as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Student Veterans Organization. Mike’s professional background is in advertising and marketing, and has experience in executing large print and digital campaigns for non-profit and tourism clients. He lives in Los Angeles where he thinks a lot about dogs, bourbon, and the Chicago Bears.

Michael Clancy, 19, is a volunteer member residing in Dickson, TN, about 40 miles outside of Nashville. His mother, Dee Clancy, is a Navy veteran, Region 4 Programs Manager, and a member of the first class of the Clay Hunt Fellows Program. TR runs deep in Clancyville.

They’re the first to explain how the organization serves as a big, crazy, hyper-functional family. Since Michael returned from Operation: Frozen Oak back in February, he put traveling at the top of his priority list in order to spend time with friends and family.

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Michael Clancy is one of 15,000 members of TR committed to manhandling disasters across the globe.

Before embarking on the state of Florida, Michael sent out a quick Facebook message: “Does anyone have couch space in Pensacola?” Within minutes the responses poured in. “Nobody even really knew who I was,” said Michael. “But they knew I was in TR. They knew I was one of them. I felt so welcomed and was excited to meet members of my extended family.”

Michael showed up at the home of TR volunteer Julie Cox and she greeted him with open arms. They had a lengthy conversation about what led them to TR before calling it a night. Later, Michael went on to visit more friends and eventually landed in New Orleans, LA, where he connected with Region 6 communications manager Erica Chomsky. The pattern continued.

Some necessary horseplay during Operation: Starting Gun in Oklahoma last year.
Some necessary horseplay during Operation: Starting Gun in Oklahoma last year.

Those in TR Nation take separate paths before convening and devoting our time to service, to not only help disaster-stricken communities, but ourselves. We are a unique, beautiful, and often strange family, but we prefer it that way. Whether it’s crashing on a fellow member’s couch, casting an open invitation to a Thanksgiving feast, or being available for phone calls late at night, we’re there for each other.

When Michael Clancy returned home, he left with a few bags of Mardi Gras beads (purchased, of course), a new friend in Pensacola, and more love from his TR family than he could carry.

Written by Region 6 communications manager Erica Chomsky