Last month, I was one of 30 Rackspace interns that had the opportunity to volunteer at the Assistance League, a local nonprofit organization that operates a thrift shop and donates apparel, home goods and other merchandise to various local charities.
The event was sponsored by Rack Gives Back, Rackspace’s all-volunteer, philanthropic arm that extends Fanatical Support back to the communities our employees live and work in.
As we arrived on site, we had the chance to meet with Assistance League staff members and get a tour of the nonprofit’s large, two-story building, which holds a storefront as well as large meeting rooms and a massive warehouse.
After introductions with the staff, we got down to work. We were each given the choice of participating in one of three volunteering events: decorating hats for children undergoing chemotherapy, preparing clothes for the thrift shop or assembling kits for toddlers.
Although the idea of volunteering can sometimes sound boring, the opportunity to roll up our sleeves and help with these great causes gave us all a chance to bond with each other and participate in activities we genuinely enjoyed.
Jenavie Aguilar, an ecommerce marketing intern, spent some of her time decorating hats, but was able to try her hand at all three programs throughout the day. She also had the chance to get to know some of the other interns better and has since spent time outside of work hanging out with some of them.
I volunteered during the latter portion of the day and dedicated my time to decorating hats as well. I had the chance to make several hats of varying colors and received lots of encouragement from the Assistance League staff. I also enjoyed discussing San Antonio with some of the interns who are new to the city as well as those who, like me, have lived here for a number of years.
After a couple of hours of volunteering, we were led to a dining area, where the table was filled with homemade food, including fried chicken, salads and brownies — perfect for a group of hungry Rackers (or broke interns).
After another couple of hours of volunteering, the staff encouraged us to take a look around in the thrift shop, where we found affordable clothes, shoes, jewelry, home goods and other memorable merchandise.
It was interesting to learn that not all of the goods in the thrift shop were used; much of the merchandise had been donated by other volunteer groups, such as Rack Gives Back. The staff also emphasized how important volunteering was to them, and how thankful they were for Rackspace’s volunteer efforts.
Overall, we enjoyed the chance to take a break from our busy internships, and at the end of the day, we felt good about giving back to our community while enjoying the camaraderie of our fellow fanatical volunteers.
Want to find out more about internships at Rackspace? Visit us online to see how you can get started. And if nothing is currently available, stay tuned, internships open up every few months.