Nothing feels better than knowing what you are doing is helping someone else out

I was one of the lucky participants who was chosen to take part in The Winnipeg Foundation’s Summer Internship Program.

My assignment had me based at the North End Community Renewal Corporation (NECRC), an organization committed to the social, economic and cultural renewal of the North End. My job specifically was to help organize Picnic in the Park, which encourages positive self image. The event will be held  Sat. Aug. 22, 2015 at St. John’s Park in Winnipg from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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My two-week placement at NECRC in July was anything but boring. From replying to emails, to contacting volunteers, to meeting up with various businesses about donations, I was kept hopping every day.

Contacting the volunteers was straight forward: I was given a list of people who I would either email or call, asking them to save the date. I then wrote up letters I would deliver to various companies.

In order to promote healthy living, I contacted and received some amazing donations from bike shops, which insured the prizes given away would promote healthy living to the recipient.

From there I asked for donations from Superstore, Safeway, and Walmart.

Many of my days were not so busy in the office, but rather on the road, visiting various companies and organizations, hoping they would support Picnic in the Park.

My ongoing quest netted a donation from Safeway, and free skate passes from Wheelies. I also visited Shoppers Drug Mart, Canadian Tire, and Toys R’ Us, in search of either food donations or prize donations.

Nothing feels better than knowing what you are doing is helping someone else out.

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Summer Intern Mary Prendergast (left) with Anthony Sannie, Mentor at NECRC.

During my work placement, I found that writing was an important skill to master; yes, even in this digital age. I started off most days of my internship replying to emails and writing letters to various companies in search of donations.

I was asking for prize donations instead of food donations, and as a result I visited numerous restaurants asking for gift cards. These included Subway, Superboys, Salisbury House, Santa Lucia Pizza, Olive Garden, Boogies, and Sargent Sundae.

Of course, I didn’t solely focus on prize donations. After going to various restaurants, I went to IGA, Real Canadian Wholesale Club, and Food Fare, looking for a donation of hot dog buns.

Most of my days were extremely busy and always rewarding. With the donation of multiple gift cards, and the promise of more to come, all of the pieces seemed to be falling in place.

The final days of my work experience were some of the busiest. Along with responding to emails, creating more letters seeking donations, meetings, approving posters, organizing volunteer / booth registration forms, and contacting volunteers, I also followed up with many businesses I had contacted.

I know my tasks may sound a little boring, and to others may seem a bit terrifying at the prospect of talking to so many people every day, but I can truly say is was a tremendously rewarding experience.

I was completely exhausted by the time Friday would arrive and was pretty spent by the end of whole work placement.

Indeed, it feels great to know I put everything I have into helping others. This internship was the most rewarding job I have ever done.

L to R: Cindy Tugwell (mentor at Heritage Winnipeg); Rushika Khatkar (Intern at Heritage Winnipeg); Dion Cheung (Intern at Heart and Stroke); Lorri Podolski (Representative from Heart and Stroke); Harley Bray (Intern at Freeze Frame); Jen Schreibmaier (Intern at Assiniboine Park); Mary Prendergast (Intern at NERC) and Anthony Sannie (Mentor at NERC).

L to R: Cindy Tugwell (mentor at Heritage Winnipeg); Rushika Khatkar (Intern at Heritage Winnipeg); Dion Cheung (Intern at Heart and Stroke); Lorri Podolski (Representative from Heart and Stroke); Harley Bray (Intern at Freeze Frame); Jen Schreibmaier (Intern at Assiniboine Park); Mary Prendergast (Intern at NERC) and Anthony Sannie (Mentor at NERC).

Mary Prendergast is one of 15 high school students sponsored by the Winnipeg Foundation this summer to work alongside non-profit organizations within the city. To read more stories about the 2015 Summer Internship Program, click here.

One response to “Nothing feels better than knowing what you are doing is helping someone else out”

  1. Gregory C. McNeill

    Awsome story Mary! You go girl! 🙂