This is my second semester as a CBL intern, and the experience has been unbelievably amazing so far. Working in the office has help me develop many different skills that I can apply in my day to day life, but the most important one is developing meaningful relationship with community members while being aware of my privilege. This specific trait was very important throughout the week of Spring break.
I spent the week in Wheeling, West Virginia where my group and I volunteered at the soup kitchen. Our main goal was to develop relationships with the patrons who attend the soup kitchen daily. However, they explicitly told us that we were not there to be “tourists of poverty” but to be part of the community for a week. That really got me thinking, and it made me realize that is what we do in CBL.
Although I was worried I was not going to be able to connect with anyone at first, thinking about my past CBL sites made the process easier. By the end of the week, I knew most of the patrons at the soup kitchen. However, one of these patrons stood out. His name is Dale and he shared with us how he gets through the week in a positive manner:
“When you’re down-n-out think positive:
- Monday: Marvelous
- Tuesday: Terrific
- Wednesday: Wonderful
- Thursday: Thankful
- Friday: Fantastic
- Saturday: Sensational
- Sunday: Satisfied – made it through the week”
Once he said that I knew we all had an irreplaceable relationship with him, one that I couldn’t have had without the valuable skills CBL has taught me. I will forever be grateful for being part of the CBL community.