Im half way through the summer internship with American Red Cross. I initially wanted to learn more about the ways in which American Red Cross serves people, and in addition I wanted to get a good feel for how a non-profit organization operates. I’ve learned that the Red Cross stay very close to its mission statement in terms of service and has very direct goals: To prevent and alleviate human suffering.
The Red Cross carries this out in three phases stretched out through various departments: Prepare, Respond, Recover. I’ve had some difficulty aligning my work in Youth Services and engaging with youth, mostly through Preparedness service work, in a way that also reflects the mission and goals of CILSA and the Summer Fellowship. I have found it very difficult to put into perspective of serving the poor and marginalized through social justice advocacy when the organization that I am serving does not directly serve that group.
The dynamic of working with those who are well-off enough to help themselves, thus are able and willing to help others is a completely different dynamic from engaging with and working with those who cannot help themselves. Particularly, my work with youth engagement has led me to serve the community by getting the youth engaged and active in service advocating “service” in general. Most of my work has been promotion of volunteerism to the youth in the community.
In the past week, I have began searching for other areas that I can get involved in the Denver community. I have reached out to the Catholic Workers of Denver and spent some time volunteering with them at their house. There the Catholic Workers serve 15 individuals and families that are struggling to find work and housing, while they temporarily stay at the Catholic Workers house.