Letter to My Feed the Children Family

Dear Feed the Children family,

As I write these words, I come before you with a heavy heart.

As I shared with all our staff during the Global Town Hall meeting this morning, I have chosen not to renew my contract with Feed the Children when it expires on May 31, 2015.

On June 1st, I will begin my new role as CEO of the American Diabetes Association based in Alexandria, VA.

This is not a decision that Elizabeth or I have entered into lightly or without much prayer and even sadness.

I began my work with you back in 2012 out of a deep sense of calling to this organization. I worked late nights, early mornings and weekends — out of that sense of calling.  My wife Elizabeth also felt called to support my work here. Together, over the last three years, we’ve given this mission of no child going to bed hungry our absolute all.

But now, we both believe that our calling has changed. We feel like the next chapter of our lives will be with the American Diabetes Association to lead the fight against the deadly consequences of this disease. Diabetes is a disease that has personally touched my own family, including my own parents. I am hopeful and would love to see a cure for diabetes in my lifetime.

But, please know, all of this does not change how Elizabeth and I feel about you, the Feed the Children family. We love you. We love the children our mission serves. And these past three years have been some of the most joyous ones of our lives.

We’ve done such important and life changing work together. Children have been fed. Schools have been built. Water has come to communities without any. Entire communities have been raised out of the cycle of poverty. And hear me say, I am so proud of you. I am so proud of the work we’ve done together. Any accomplishments I’ve achieved in this place are because of you who have made this journey alongside of us. While I know it may be difficult to understand our decision, sometimes the greatest thing a leader can do is know when to step aside so that the focus stays on the mission and not on them.

So, while I may no longer be the President and CEO of Feed the Children come June, the mission of Feed the Children is not one that I will leave behind. My wife and I will continue to support Feed the Children with our monthly donations, prayers and wishes for great success in the future.

And not only this, we have made many friends both in Oklahoma and in the field offices around the world—these are relationships for which we will forever be grateful. The joy of being in community with you, the global Feed the Children family, has taught us so much about what love really means. No matter where we come from or what our individual stories may be, we’ve connected in our common mission. No child should ever go without life’s essentials. And, I know we’ll continue loving the children who we’ve met along the way.

So, as the Hagan family enters into this new chapter of our lives come June, we ask for your prayers.

In the meantime, know that from now until May 31st, I will continue to do everything I can to pave a great path for your next President and CEO. Now, more than ever the children in our programs need all of our unified support.

Gratefully yours,