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Inn from the Cold, a non-profit organization that aims to help families experiencing homelessness, and Katimavik, a governmental youth development program. Who knew there could be a better duo?

My name is Isabella Giosi and I am a 19-year-old Katimavik participant. Being part of Katimavik, for this brief 2-month period has changed my life in many ways. I had the opportunity of experiencing this wonderful city, meeting new people, and most of all feeling like I made a difference.

Being part of Katimavik means you volunteer 30 hours a week for a non-profit to help and strengthen the community. Luckily for me, I was placed at Inn from the Cold. Definitely a blessing in disguise! Being part of the Inn family has made me feel at home even though I am 3,500km away from my own. In my eyes, the community, the mission and the team involved are what make The Inn a special place.

As an intern, I was placed in the communication and events department, where I worked with Sabrina, Maria and Emma, and many other staff members. What is truly remarkable about this non-profit is that no matter your position, you know your work will make a difference. Even though I was not working directly with the families, I always felt fulfilled and accomplished that my work and those of my peers were helping many families thrive. During my short time here, I also learnt the importance of business relationships and customer service. As they say, a smile goes a long way, and compassion can make a difference in helping a family.

I also got to work in the Inn’s kitchen, with Karen and Mike. Here I learned how a home-cooked meal can make such a difference in a family’s everyday life. Knowing I was a part of many home-cooked meals distributed to families makes me feel blessed.

Another valuable lesson I learned while working at the Inn, is the importance of great coworkers. I truly believe I flourished and did my absolute best here because of the people I worked with. I was lucky to be in an environment filled with care, understanding, patience, laughter, happiness and empathy. While at the Inn, I experienced the loss of a family member for the very first time, and being 4 provinces away from home made it even harder to deal with. But my bosses, coworkers and friends made me feel heard and were more than compassionate, and I am grateful every day to have had that support. I always knew how important it was to work with people you get along with, but I never thought I would have the chance to work with coworkers I could call friends.

I never thought I would have a boss prioritizing my emotional health over work. Thank you, Sabrina.

I never thought I would have a boss with whom I could take fun coffee breaks. Thanks, Maria.

And never thought I would have a director whom I could speak to and feel understood. Thank you, Emma.

Even though my time has ended physically here at the Inn, I will never forget this organization, the people and its mission. Thank you for the friendships I have made, the people who have made it their mission to make people smile, and those that dedicate their time to helping others. You are all inspirations to myself and many others.

Thank you for having open arms to the Katimavik Intern,

Isabella Giosi