Intern Reflection: Kathleen
For Kathleen, one of the most surprising parts of volunteering was having the opportunity to witness the impact of community work in person. During BEC’s events, workshops, and during staff members' interactions with their clients, she saw the differences - both big and small - being made within the BEC’s community. The care that the BEC shows has been inspiring to her as a result, and is something she has learned a lot from.
In terms of tasks, one of the things Kathleen enjoyed helping with the most involved assisting with entering the CGM applications. To her, seeing the contributions of Filipino veterans was both compelling and eye-opening. This was because she wasn’t fully aware about the experience of Filipino veterans before volunteering with the BEC. Ever since, however, that has definitely changed for her. Another thing she enjoyed was helping out with parts of the BEC’s website, which is something she realized she liked doing a lot. She also enjoyed helping during events held by the BEC. The Bingo Birthday Bash in particular is an event she loved helping with because it has allowed for her to interact with the seniors and see the fun they have while socializing with each other.
Prior to volunteering for the BEC, Kathleen wasn’t familiar much at all with the South of Market area. But after some time, that began to change for her. The South of Market is a bustling area of SF with a multitude of people from different walks of life. Volunteering at the BEC has reminded Kathleen of the struggles of those who are marginalized, and has allowed for her to understand their experiences in a different way. Additionally, she has also seen firsthand from the BEC what a community is like. Compassionate, hopeful, determined, and resilient - all of these things and more define the BEC for her and are evident within all that they do. Kathleen has seen how the BEC cares not only about each other but also for the community at large. This care has been evident to her in the BEC’s interactions with their clients, for instance, and the staff’s interactions with one another. They have definitely made her feel welcome and for that, among other things, she’s eternally grateful.