I recently chatted with two of our interns, Ryan and Bethanie, about their internship experience. Ryan has been with us for a few months, and Bethanie for almost a year.
Wendy: How did you come to intern here?
Ryan: I was referred here by the Goodwill volunteer program. I needed volunteer hours to qualify for my education benefits and they helped me find a great match for my skillset.
Bethanie: I become an intern here at Associated Ministries through word of mouth. I needed to gather work experience, and had heard that AM was in need of volunteers and Interns.
W: What have you been learning while interning here?
R: I have been learning about the database software used by non-profits and using community calendars. I have also been learning about the businesses and churches that do volunteer work with Associated Ministries.
B: I have learned about client services and ways to be strength-based in my work with the clients. It has been an invaluable experience for me, and showed me exactly why I decided to work in this field. The tough decisions that need to be made regarding clients and staff members. It’s not easy to look at a homeless client and say “I’m sorry but I cannot help you.”
W: What is your goal to learn while here?
B: The original learning target I had set out for myself was to get some work experience in the human services field. It was after working here for a couple of months that I found exactly what I wanted to do; I want to learn how to be a better direct service provider.
R: I would like to learn more about the website software WordPress, and the logistics that go into planning events and fundraisers.
W: What has been the most interesting/informative thing you’ve learned while here?
B: I would have to say the most interesting thing I have learned so far is just the sheer capacity of the effect on what AM does throughout the community. The most informative thing I have learned is that it’s okay to be human.
R: I have learned many interesting things so far in my time here, but one thing that stands out to me is that I learned how to repair and troubleshoot a laminating machine.
W: What has been the most challenging thing?
R: The most challenging thing for me here has been managing the number of tasks that need attention. There are always several projects lined up, and AM is doing important work!
B: The most challenging thing for me was at the beginning of my internship here and being able to talk to my co-workers and clients naturally. I wasn’t sure how to act or talk to people. It was touch and go for a while. It became easy after a while to loosen up and talk to people. The AM staff has a really good knack for making you feel comfortable here.
W: Why should people intern with us?
R: Associated Ministries has a wonderful environment, with great people who care about their work. The work itself is important too, and it’s gratifying to be of service to the community.
B: There are many different departments that are interconnected with each other that make it so you are never alone in one thing that you are doing. I’ve learned a great deal on what it is like to work for a non-profit agency. So if you want to help out the homeless community or even work more on administration come intern or volunteer at AM. You won’t regret it.
We are so thankful for our wonderful volunteers and appreciate all the hard work they have been doing the last few months to help paint the homes of low-income homeowners!
However, in order to make sure all the homes scheduled for this summer get completed, we need help! There has been an unexpected issue with getting enough paint, and we are seeking donations to help purchase what we need to paint the last few homes for the low-income homeowners.
Any amount will help and you can donate at https://associatedministries.org/donate-2017/. Just select that your donation is for Paint Tacoma-Pierce Beautiful.
On behalf of the homeowners participating in the program, thank you in advance for your generosity!
It’s getting hot out there. For many of us it’s easy to find a cool place, whether work or home, that has air conditioning. Or go to a restaurant, drive in an air conditioned car, go to the mall, etc. People experiencing homelessness do not have those luxuries. In fact, their very survival is at stake.
People who are homeless can be particularly vulnerable to heat waves because they cannot easily stay cool or stay hydrated. Some living on the streets might have medical or substance issues that prevent them from thinking clearly and are in need of extra assistance. Add this to heat and dehydration and you have a lethal combination. Moreover, heat waves are often not perceived as being as dangerous as cold weather.
People living on the street or in their car can take advantage of cooler air in public buildings such as Pierce County libraries, Tacoma Libraries and other public places, however going in to cool off at a local restaurant, coffee shop or movie theater, costs money they don’t have.
Here are ten things you can purchase and carry with you to hand out to people living on the street or in their car during the heat wave:
- Frozen bottled water. Try to freeze (not just chill) bottled water before handing it out. The ice will melt slowly for drinking, but can also be used for general cooling. Freezing the bottles will provide a cold source that people can hold to their heads or necks or between their wrists. “Enhanced” water that has electrolytes added to it is especially beneficial to help replace needs nutrients.
- Water bottles. Consider handing out reusable, durable water bottles that can be refilled from public water sources.
- Sunglasses. To be effective, Prevent Blindness America says glasses should block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.
- Hats. Baseball hats, straw hats, anything-with-a-brim hats. This keeps the sun off the face and out of the eyes.
- Umbrellas. They will help keep the sun from directly beating down on a person on the street.
- Bandanas. Dipped in water and draped around the neck or head, these can bring down temperatures significantly. When dipped in cold water, the cooling bandana will provide long-term relief and can be reused again and again.
- Sunscreen. Great idea, but don’t give away that bottle you barely used last year. Sunscreen’s protective ingredients expire after 12 months. Don’t be cheap. Buy new bottles. The average adult needs about a shot glass worth of sunscreen per day in the sun to stay totally protected.
- Zinc oxide ointment. This will keep lips and noses from burning and is much easier to carry and apply than sunscreen.
- Bus passes. People in need can ride an air conditioned bus to help stay cool.
- Fast food cards. Where people in need can go in and purchase a meal and sit for a time in a cool place. If they do not purchase food, some establishments will ask them to leave. By enabling them to make a purchase you are helping not only feed them, but keep them cool too.
As the temperatures begin to climb throughout Pierce County, the Department of Emergency Management reminds everyone to stay out of the heat as much as possible, stay hydrated, and check on elderly relatives and neighbors when temperatures soar. They also recommend checking on those with chronic health concerns as they might be more susceptible to heat related illnesses.
Those with low or fixed incomes are also at risk. Many of them are forced to choose between eating or turning on their air conditioner. Food often wins out and in extreme heat a fan is simply not enough to keep someone cool.
Do not leave children or pets in cars unattended – temperatures can quickly become deadly. Take advantage of cooler air in public buildings such as Pierce County libraries, Tacoma Libraries, local malls, movie theaters, and other large stores. People seeking relief from the heat by swimming in rivers risk cold shock and possibly drowning.
Exercise extreme caution and make sure to take care of one another.