It’s hard to believe that my time as an intern at Campus Kitchens is almost over, I’m headed home for a visit in less than two weeks, and when I return there will only be a couple weeks left of my internship. I went into this summer with one main goal, and that was to really get to know the clients that Campus Kitchens serves. I won’t pretend that I know everyone’s name or everything about them, but I definitely think that I have learned a lot from our clients, and have begun to build what I believe will be strong and long lasting relationships with many of them, in particular I have grown close to many of the kids at the Summer Fun program, and the residents at the Manor.
I expected to love working with the kids at Summer Fun, as the majority of my service as a Bonner Scholar has been with kids in Lexington area schools, (in fact I know several of the kids in the program from previous volunteer experiences). What I did not expect, was how much I have come to love going to the Manor. The first time I went to the Manor, it was because the kid’s programs hadn’t started up yet, so I was just going with on all of the adult shifts. By the end of my first visit, I found that I really enjoyed meeting with the residents and hearing of their life experiences. I have spoken to people at the Manor who hail from all over the country and have had a vast array of different circumstances shape their lives. The time I have spent on the Manor has refreshed the importance of providing both companionship and nutritious meals in order to satisfy the needs of our clients. It has also taught me how much there is to learn from other people and their stories, more than anything else I think it has helped me understand in a deeper sense the importance of the work Campus Kitchens, and other relief agencies like it do for the communities they work in.
This summer I have gained a better understanding of the work Campus Kitchens does, as I have had the opportunity both to witness behind the scenes fundraising and administrative work, and up-front client interaction on a much larger scale. As my internship winds down, and I look toward the next school year, I hope to continue to volunteer at the Manor and at the school year’s version of Summer Fun aka Lexington Office on Youth; so that I can further develop the bonds I have formed with our clients, and continue to learn more from and about them.