by Abigail Blake, Membership Engagement/Policy Fall Intern
In the last week I have participated in two editorial meetings, met a Congressman from Georgia, sat in on a call with the Lutheran Services in America Disability Network and learned about the database system for Lutheran Services of America. I have been welcomed into a team of dedicated individuals who truly want to make a difference in the lives of their members' staff and clients.
I have been inspired by how many ways Lutheran Services in America is able to help it's over 300 members all across the country. Whether it is from developing a new program, advocating for a certain piece of legislation or issue, or holding an annual conference to educate the staff of its members, LSA is always looking to help its members and has created a strong network founded on Lutheran ideals for these nonprofits to utilize. It is rewarding to be able to say I have been a part of that for the last week.
That is what brought me to Lutheran Services in America. I wanted to work in a nonprofit that would be open and willing to teach me about the inner facets of nonprofit management as well as inspire me. Even though I have only been here a week, I am certain that I am surrounded by a passionate team driven to serve its community and will learn a lot about the ways I can serve.
I have never been sure of exactly what my calling was. All I knew was that I wanted to make a difference in the world around me. My sophomore year, I got involved in volunteering at a local women's shelter near my school and knew that some sort of nonprofit work was my calling. From there, I have run a food pantry near my school, served two summer AmeriCorps turns, and tried to learn as much as I could about nonprofit work.
With only a week of my internship under my belt, I have already learned a lot about how a bigger nonprofit is run differently than a smaller nonprofit, as well as the importance of the various departments in a nonprofit. I am excited to learn more and am positive that by the time I leave LSA in December, I will have learned more than I can fathom now.
On my way to the LSA office each day, I pass the Capitol Building and the Supreme Court. I am always in awe of how much important work is done in Washington. And I am starting to learn that Lutheran Services in America is an important part of that work. I am honored to be welcomed to the team.
Abigail is a senior at Valparaiso University majoring in International Economics & Cultural Affairs, spending the fall 2015 semester at the Lutheran Services in America office in Washington, D.C. She is working with Member Engagement, the team responsible for serving and connecting our membership, and our Public Policy & Advocacy staff. Special thanks to Valparaiso University and the Lutheran College Washington Semester (LCWS) for their support of Lutheran social ministry and for partnering with LSA to provide opportunities to young adults who are pursuing their calling and purpose in the world. To learn more about LCWS, visit www.washingtonsemester.org.