By: Sarah Robinson
My name is Sarah, and recently I had had the opportunity to work as a full time volunteer with Inn from the Cold. In January, I moved from Vancouver Island to Calgary for the Katimavik National Experience. If you are not familiar with Katimavik, it is a youth leadership program, striving to develop young leaders into the next generation of engaged citizens. The program runs for six months, and participants spend three months in both an English and Francophone community. During the stay, each participant volunteers full time at a not-for profit within the city, while participating in workshops and events each week to further develop other aspects of leadership. I have been lucky to spend the past three months at Inn from the Cold.
During my time in Calgary, I have worked with the communications team at the Inn. I volunteered for this role because I am interested in communications as a future career. After taking a short tour, and learning more about the Inn, I was convinced I wanted to be a part of the team. The whole building had a dynamic energy, a feeling of immense care I can’t quite describe. When you walk in, you feel energized, the staff were immediately welcoming, and around every corner I was greeted with genuine warm smiles.
Throughout my three months, I was given the opportunity to challenge myself and make meaningful contributions. My responsibilities included managing the Inn from the Cold info email inbox, writing the weekly internal newsletter, and developing social media posts. I developed graphic design skills I never knew I wanted to develop! Also, I have been pushed to improve my writing abilities by contributing to the Inn’s blogs, and I was able to develop my professional and business writing skills as well. I am excited that for three months I was able to be fully immersed, and explore the full range of what it means to work in a communications department, I feel more experienced and excited to delve into the field.
The team here worked endlessly to make my short time impactful. In our office, laughter was always found despite the challenging days. I believe my time at the Inn will be unmatched because it is hard to find words to describe the influence it has had on me. I leave feeling deeply inspired, by what each day here has shown me; by the resilience of the families who walk through the doors of the Inn’s Family Emergency Shelter, to the dedication of every employee. I am excited to take what I have learned, new found friendships, and my experiences with me in my next chapter in Quebec City.
Thank you to Inn from the Cold for an unforgettable experience.