Passion is key when interning or working for a non-profit. This past summer I was blessed to be the non-profit management intern and this experience has been nothing short of amazing. As the non-profit management intern I was able to experience full circle the ins and outs of Hospitality House. Some days I would work at the front desk and meet clients, other days I would be packaging envelopes to send to donors. A majority of the time I worked in the kitchen preparing meals or sorting food in the pantry. Another one of my top experiences was going to different hotels in the Boone area to see if they would be willing to donate leftover/unused breakfast items to serve to the clients at Hospitality House. Once again passion is key. This internship has not been the easiest, but it sure has been the most eye opening and rewarding job I have had the opportunity to be a part of.
It has been a pleasure serving this summer at Hospitality House. It has been nothing but bright faces and joyous smiles. Walking into Hospitality House never failed to put a smile on my face. Whether I was tired or just not in the happiest mood, the moment I stepped foot in the building and one of the staff members or clients smiled, waved, or welcomed me with open arms, my mood would do a 180 and I felt a sense of joy and comfort.
My most fond memory of the summer was one Saturday afternoon when a client walked up to me after I took a quick break from sorting the pantry. The client greeted me with a warm smile and offered me the most beautiful necklace. When choosing one of their necklaces, I picked out the most colorful one so that I could always keep up with it and remember this special moment. Little did I know, when choosing this necklace, there was a cross charm at the end of the necklace. We both smiled at one another and I thanked them for this special gift. Little do they know that moment meant everything to me, and would be apart of my call story.
For the past couple of years, I have had this passion serving and working alongside those experiencing homelessness. Although I personally have never experienced homelessness, those who have, who've I had the opportunity to speak with have the most raw and genuine heart. They have taught me more life lessons than I could ever possibly experience outside of speaking with them. The necklace that now hangs in my rear-view mirror not only reminds me of the client who gave me the necklace, but is a constant reminder of my calling to serve. I once heard this quote that reads "I hold your heart in my heart always." That's exactly what Hospitality House means to me. Every staff, intern, and client have a special place in my heart always and are the reason I am following my calling.