By Liana O’Rourke
When I learned that Interfaith Community Partners was looking for a summer marketing intern, I was very excited to apply. I was drawn to this opportunity because last summer I interned at Senior Living Experts, a free service that helps families seeking assisted living options for their loved ones. During high school, I also volunteered with programs that helped local nursing homes. I loved meeting everyone when I went in for my interview in March and getting to see where I might work for the summer. Little did I know that this experience would be a wonderful fit for my personality and that I would learn so much about working in a nonprofit environment.
As I started my internship, I quickly realized the strong community of ICP. I walked with ICP in the Pet Parade after my first week of work, and I loved meeting the volunteers and staff members. I had such a fun time seeing all of the other floats and organizations in the parade. In early June, I had the opportunity to attend the La Grange Business Association’s member meeting with ICP’s Executive Director Janet Garreau. I was able to network with many business owners and experience the community LGBA provides. I really enjoyed learning about the individual businesses and how much work and passion goes into planning a village event.
Last summer at Senior Living Experts, my work was remote and I didn’t get to meet staff in person. This summer, I was so excited that I would be working in the office. I was also eager to attend staff meetings and be in a collaborative environment. During the June staff meeting, it was very interesting to see what everyone had been working on. Each staff member got to share about their projects and how they were making progress. One of the moments that will always stay with me was the “Missing Link” conversation. During this part of the meeting, staff can share something that they think could be improved. This demonstrated to me that ICP values the opinions of each staff member and always strives to do things in the most efficient way.
One of my favorite projects I was given during my internship was planning an event to host at ICP’s friendship bench. It was really motivating to be able to bring in my ideas and be creative with marketing. The event was on Thursday, July 13th during the La Grange Farmers Market. I had a great time working with Ella, the other summer marketing intern. We had fun watching kids race each other on our matchbox car tracks, and we were also able to share more about ICP with those who stopped by. I loved seeing our idea come to life and getting to interact with community members.
Throughout my internship, I was constantly surrounded by positive energy and compassion. I learned that everyone brings something unique and valuable to this organization in order to continue ICP’s mission. Whether I was with one of the volunteer coordinators or greeting someone dropping off supplies, I was always with such genuine people who showed up as their best selves. I was in the office one day when volunteers came in for their training, and I loved seeing how excited they were to get started. It was evident that ICP values welcoming their volunteers and making sure they feel like a part of the team.
Thank you so much to the staff members and volunteers at ICP for welcoming me this summer! I learned a lot about caring for the community from each of you.