I was honored to be an intern at Hosp House during the Spring of 2022. Going into it, I didn’t really know what to expect. I was really nervous, inexperienced, quiet and not very confident in my abilities. On the very first day I was put to work in the kitchen and had no idea what to do. We were shown around the kitchen but we were expected to learn fast and get the job done. I wasn’t really sure what to do but knew that we were having to serve about 60 people for lunch and 80 people for dinner. I had never cooked for this many people before. In fact, I had barely cooked at all. However, being thrown into everything is how I learned. As my time progressed, I was making meals on my own and doing tasks without being told. I was able to make homemade chili, mashed potatoes, muffins, spaghetti sauce and much more. I had never made anything from scratch before and enjoyed getting creative and using what we had available in the food pantry.
At Hosp House we learn to critically think about what to serve for dinner. If we didn’t have enough food, it was our responsibility to find something else to serve. Everyone deserves a nutritious and delicious meal. I was even able to have some great eye opening conversations with some of the residents and those that came through the food pantry line. COVID has definitely added some restrictions but talking with others is still important to me and is at the top of my list for priorities. The friendships that I have made will last a lifetime and I am so honored that I was able to share this time with them. Senior year of college is super busy but being able to talk with them and my mentors was truly encouraging and I am so grateful for them.
If you are ever thinking about volunteering, Hosp House would be the perfect place to do so. They are always looking for help and you will learn so many skills while working there. I have been able to learn cooking skills as well as organization skills. I have learned that life is so fast paced and sometimes you just need to slow down and listen. Listening to those that live here and their stories has been one of my favorite things. They truly do appreciate everything that you do for them and they deserve to be talked to. Tasks need to be done, but they will be done eventually. One of the greatest things that I learned is to take the time to have a conversation with a resident and really acknowledge their stories. This will not only brighten your day, but theirs as well.
I can’t even begin to describe how much I have learned and the impacts that the organization has had on me. By the end of my internship my confidence skyrocketed and I actually felt like I was making a difference. I had no idea what I was getting myself into but I am so glad that I was able to have this opportunity. I have gained so much knowledge of how homeless shelters work and how dedicated everyone has to be in order to make this organization run. At a time when everyone is down and life seems so crazy, those that are at Hosp House are there to help and support you. This is an experience that I will never forget and everyone there will have a place in my heart forever.
Not goodbye but see you next time,