Opening my fortune cookie this evening, I was surprised to read a startlingly accurate piece of Chinese take-out wisdom: “An old friend introduces you to new people and pleasures.” How fitting for my life at this moment! I have just started a wonderful new internship, and my supervisor is actually an old family friend who is simply marvelous! My fortune cookie does not lie!
Yesterday marked my first day interning at the American Red Cross. I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity: I’m working with dedicated staff and volunteers, learning a wealth of information about the nonprofit world, and putting my writing skills to use. My first morning in the office began with introductions to everyone in the office, a short orientation, and a crash course over lunch in nonprofit development and fundraising. My supervisor, so passionate about her work, told me more relevant information in one day than I have learned in my entire college career; although the concepts were familiar to me, her fresh perspective deepened my perception of what it means to lead a nonprofit organization in today’s changing world.
The best part of the day, however, was our afternoon visit to the Youngstown Air Base, where members of the Red Cross were present to welcome home nearly 200 troops from their time overseas. We joined a multitude of family members and other military personnel waiting in the hangar and on the tarmac for these brave heroes, and as the first serviceman stepped down from the plane, cheers of excitement spontaneously erupted from the crowd. The sun suddenly broke through the gloomy clouds and shed a brilliant, sparkling light on the happy scene of reunion. The homecoming was one of pure joy and love, and more than a few tears of happiness were shed as loved ones ran into each other’s outstretched arms. What a way to start an internship.