Shelter Network through the Eyes of an Intern
My desk at the Burlingame, CA headquarters of Shelter Network looks out onto the hallway, and every day I witness greatness as it happen in this hall. I see our Executive Director Karae getting ready for a meeting, talking with pride about clients who have recently graduated and thinking of the next big idea to make our clients’ lives better. I hear Graciella answer the phone and then cheerfully give out numbers and information to people who have called looking for a place to stay for the night. Every day I listen to Maria, my lovely boss, create new events and marketing programs, and then in her spare time also coordinate donations and figure out ways to pick up more furniture or deliver supplies to our families in need.
When I started at Shelter Network 2 months ago as a volunteer marketing intern I thought that this would be a way to gain experience in my college major, as well as be something nice to do over the summer. But it has turned into a learning and life experience that I will never forget. I have been privileged enough to be let into the inner workings of this organization, and let me tell you this place is a whirlwind of activity and a well-oiled machine all in one. The work it does changes lives every single day.
I started by working on our social media sites. While I redesigned our Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages to be more consistent and work together better, I learned how these sites could raise awareness about a critical shortage of diapers at our sites in an instant and call community members to action. While I went through photos of the families we serve to create a “day in the life” montage to display at our sites, I saw the number of everyday people who look just like me, my friends and neighbors Shelter Network has served to get the help they so desperately need during these tough economic times. While writing an article for the newsletter I learned about how committed our volunteers are and the impact that just one person can make.
My time at Shelter Network has been more than designing webpages and making things look pretty. It has shown me the massive impact that one organization led by passionate and committed professionals can make. Shelter Network’s staff, volunteers, donors and clients make this an inspiring place, and I am honored that I could spend my summer here. It’s been an experience I will carry with me always.
Marketing Intern, Shelter Network