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EileenM

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CENTRAL AMERICAN RESOURCE CENTER- CARECEN
August 11, 2011

I became involved in CARECEN in 2011 when I volunteered as the summer communications intern. I worked on the newsletter, helped with letters requesting donations and helped standardize the staff’s email signatures. I found the posting for a communications internship through idealist.org, but I had previously noticed the organization while passing through Columbia Heights.

I was immediately surprised by how small the staff was. I was also impressed by all the work they got done! CARECEN was originally founded to serve Central American refugees of conflicts in the 1980s. It now provides low and moderate-income Latinos in the DC area with a wide range of services, such as legal help in response to unjust firings, citizenship education classes and legal advice about immigration issues. CARECEN’s evolution from a focus on refugee issues to the comprehensive development of DC area Latinos shows how CARECEN is united with the DC Latino community. CARECEN doesn’t hold itself above or apart from the people it serves. Rather, it works both for and with its clients.

I had never volunteered or interned for a nonprofit, so I really appreciated getting to see how a nonprofit functions. My supervisors always seemed interested in what I was doing, even when their hectic schedules made it hard to find time to meet. Finally, I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to such a valuable organization. I expect to see CARECEN grow alongside the Latino community for many more years.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've personally seen clients benefit from CARECEN's services.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Add a few more staff members to manage the workload; my bosses shouldn't work through their lunch breaks! Seriously.

More feedback

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Make it easier for the volunteers and interns to get to know each other. I enjoyed the workplace more once I switched from working alone in an office to working in the same office as another intern.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I learned more about how nonprofits are organized, such as how they fundraise. I also became more familiar with the Columbia Heights neighborhood of DC and became friends with the intern who worked in the same office.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

It made me feel that I contributed to a meaningful organization which would have a long-term impact beyond my immediate involvement.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & Communications internship- Worked on the newsletter, assisted with donation request letters, gathered contact information for invitees to the 30th anniversary celebration, maintained the website's GoogleCalendar.

Review from Guidestar