Feeling welcomed at my new H.O.M.E.

I’m in my 5th week at Project H.O.M.E. and just reflecting for the first time.

I began here just one day after landing in Philadelphia airport from a week-long immersion trip to Ecuador. I was still getting acclimated to life back in the states when I jumped into a huge workload at my new internship here at H.O.M.E.

Project H.O.M.E., in my own words, is a holistic organization that allows a person in need to live with dignity. While H.O.M.E. does have an outreach unit that picks people up off the street, it is designed to do so much more. It’s programs include affordable housing, opportunities for employment, medical care and education. It’s designed for men, women and children. It does not discriminate against any race and welcomes and supports people with addiction problems and mental illnesses. It’s a program that helps any person who has great need and is willing to accept proper guidance to get their life back on track.

I work in the Development office as a Special Events and Communication intern. I have two HUGE projects I am working on this semester. One of which is well under way is the grand opening event of a new affordable housing building called the James Widener Ray Homes building. The building is a million dollar project, thanks to donors including co-owners of the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies owners, Leigh and John Middleton, were able to buy this building that was run down and decrepid. With funding from the Raynier Institute and Foundation (a private organization that funds individuals and organizatiosn of charitable nature) H.O.M.E. has been able to revitalize the building into a beautiful apartment building in Philadelphia.

I have been behind all of the logistics of planning this grand opening event that will welcome 150+ guests, including the Mayor of Philadelphia! While I had limited interaction with the true benefits of H.O.M.E.–the residents themseleves–I feel privledged to be planning an event that is celebrating social justice in an incredible way. (I’ll explain more about the other event as the time gets closer)

I feel I am starting to see my personality fitting nicely into the world of a develpment office and my communication skills–writing, media, and even some ametuer design really coming in to play. I can tell this is an environment where there’s a lot of passionate work taking place, and although they might not be making three figures…ever…the reward is something a paycheck can not provide. Granted, I am saying this without a mortgage or college loans beckoning at my mail box yet, but I still desire to take on this kind of job nonetheless.

As I’m seriously starting to consider all of these elements of a career–the workplace, who the work is benefitting, how it benefits me, the pay–I have a lot to consider. I’m excited at the idea that a few short months away from now I will really be faced with deciding what I will be doing with my life!

In the meantime, I will relish at the thought of being a free-spirited event planner where everyone at the work place is vegan and spiritual-but not religious, and all about the social justice. (not saying those are the kind of people I work with………;) )

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