Thursday, June 6, 2013

Interns for Justice: Lift Urban Portland

A year has passed since my life changing experience in Kenya. I still miss it tremendously and would love more than anything to go back. The experiences I had last summer most definitely changed my life and the way in which I now see the world. But that is a post for another time.

This summer I will interning part time at Lift Urban Portland as part of the Moreau Center's Interns for Justice program. Interns for Justice is a 300 hour program in which participants can select a marginalized group to do direct service with over the course of the summer months. 

So, over the next several months, I will working with the homeless population of Portland. Lift Urban Portland is an interfaith organization in northwest that primarily focuses on helping those in need with food. Just recently, the organization did a food bank drive and later this summer, their largest annual fundraiser (a garden party auction) will be happening. The organization also has two gardens at some of the supporting congregations, where fresh food is grown and can be distributed. (Over 12 congregations of different Judo-Christian denominations are part and supportive of Lift Urban actually and most of which reside in northwest Portland.)

Working with Lift Urban will be a different switch for me, as I have had more of a focus on gender, sexuality, and health over the past several years. I won't lie, a part of me is nervous for this switch in focus. But at the same time, I am also really excited. This experience will be new and challenging. I know for sure that I will be learning so much not only about how homelessness is addressed by faith communities but also how nonprofits are managed to some extent. I am also really excited to see how food donations are handled and to look into some sustainable ways of serving homeless populations.

As far as what exactly I will be doing during the summer, I can't tell you for sure right now. I know I will be working in part on the development side of the organization and helping to organize the summer garden party in late August. But at the same time, I will also be doing work in the food pantry and there is also the possibility that I will also be interviewing some of the people that Lift Urban serves. 

Over the next few months, I have a lot to learn and even more to experience! I'll be updating about my experiences with Lift Urban periodically and also writing more about Kenya!

Until next time,

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