(I have to blog about my internship for an assignment. Here it is. Hope it’s cool.)
Most of my days at Urban Ministries began and ended with this view. I was the communications intern, but another title could’ve easily been Social Media Girl. I’m not complaining, though. Getting to post and interact on Facebook, tweet fun things, and play around on Pinterest was in my job description. It’s like every college girl’s dream, right? But the reason behind the social media madness was my favorite part.
I’ll admit sitting at a computer all the time isn’t my idea of a good time. I like to do things. I celebrated when staff gave me mindless tasks to do like staple papers together and cut out maps for events. Yay! No more desk-sitting for a while! But when all was said and done, that was my job: to communicate from my computer. I expected this. It was right there in the job description. What wasn’t in the job description, however, was the love I would develop for the people and mission of this organization.
Urban Ministries is a nonprofit located in Raleigh that works endlessly to fight the effects of local poverty. There’s a clinic, there’s a food pantry, and there’s a women’s shelter. I had never even heard of Urban Ministries when I found the listing online, but now I could easily spew random statistics about the services provided here and the clients served. I can also tell a story. It’s the story of a client that shares my name, and I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing her. I learned how she came to North Carolina and how she ended up homeless and alone. But I won’t give away her story here. I will tell you that hearing how Urban Ministries helped her get back on her feet and ready to take on the world again inspired me to do my boring computer work with a purpose.
Without communication, UM would have no supporters. Without supporters, UM would have no donors. Without donors, UM would have no way to provide. And with no way to provide, UM would be…well, nonexistent. I’m sure you see where this is going. Communications is so important to nonprofits and this organization that I love.
I wish I didn’t have to leave. I see selflessness of staff and volunteers everyday, and I see hopeful clients that are confident in this organization. It rocks. And there are always snacks on the kitchen table, but that’s just an added bonus. College students like to be fed. And the staff. Oh, the staff. These people work really hard, but they also take time to say hello to little interns like me. Even the executive director. Seriously, being greeted by the big man in charge makes a person feel very welcome and very at home. And that’s what Urban Ministries does for everyone. It gives them hope and health and home. I may not be an intern anymore, but I will always be a supporter of this place. Dear Urban Ministries, as my friends used to sign in my middle school yearbook: You rock, don’t ever change. Xoxo
PS: Not part of my assignment, but donate to Urban Ministries here if you feel inspired to do so after reading about my experience.