Author: Rebecca Porter
NourishNC’s Programs Intern
As a senior student trying to wrap up college and graduate this May at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, a lot of theoretical scenarios have been running through my mind. Will I be living alone in an unfamiliar city starting a new job or will I be staying in Wilmington post-college? Will I be financially stable? Will my lifestyle change entirely over the next couple months? For some reason, the question, “Will the world face a life changing pandemic before I even graduate,” never occurred to me.
NourishNC’s Program Director, Katelyn Mattox, was the very first person to approach me about COVID-19 and talk about how this could affect me and NourishNC in the weeks to come. At the time, the pandemic was only a major “what if” but, looking back, I realize that she is just always three steps ahead of me in the thought process. This just goes to show how despite the circumstances, whether it is a more local issue, such as Hurricane Florence, or a worldwide pandemic, NourishNC is always prepared and taking immediate action in New Hanover County.
Every individual’s experience with COVID-19 has been incredibly different, for better or for worse. As for myself, I attended my Friday classes the morning before spring break without knowing I would not return to campus. College became zoom sessions from my bedroom and my job at the Country Club of Landfall ended indefinitely, but thankfully, my internship only gained traction as Covid-19 became more devastating with every day.
I was able to become more directly involved with this place I call home, helping to alleviate some worries about where local families’ next meals are coming from. I began doubling my internship hours each week to help prepare, set up, and run the bi-monthly drive-thru box distributions. Whether I was calling a parent, rapidly updating the evolving spreadsheets online, or helping Katelyn out with a new task, I stayed busier than ever (from six feet away).
This opportunity, even before anyone had added social distancing to their vocabulary, provided me with a deeper sense of gratitude for local nonprofits and businesses that continuously and seemingly effortlessly strive to help in any way possible during unprecedented times. It is places like NourishNC that put hope for our future above fear for the present and remind me that finding a job that is improving the world while tirelessly serving their community around them is of utmost importance to me.
Want to help NourishNC continue to serve their mission? Volunteer, pack a snack pack, or simply get on Facebook and create a fundraiser! Check out https://nourishnc.org/takeaction/ for more information.
NourishNC’s Programs Intern
**Editor’s Note: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual, nor to NourishNC.**