Grace was one of the AmeriCorps members with HIP for the 2016-17 program year. Her term with HIP ended last month. This is a letter she wrote to us reflecting on her time with HIP.
What to say as my time has ended and I must leave? What to say about the people HIP has surrounded me with and from whom I have learned so much more than I ever would’ve thought when I stepped into the office that first day? What to say about this beautiful organization doing an incredible amount to improve the lives of North Seattle/Shoreline residents? I have been lucky enough to witness HIP’s magic firsthand, to watch HIP grow and expand, and even more lucky to have been a part of that growth. And, wow, HIP sure has left its mark on me.
I walk away more confident in my own abilities professionally — to coordinate and lead programs, more informed on the inner workings of a small non-profit organization; more aware of the the needs of those in our community and the challenges they are continually faced when trying to meet those needs, more flexible and adaptable to unpredictability and (sometimes organized) chaos, and incredibly indebted to these humans who have made this the most amazing year.
Dearest HIPsters, thank you for your love and immense support as I walked (and often stumbled) through this year. Thank you for challenging me, giving me to opportunity to learn and grow, and answering my endless questions (looking at you, staff). Thank you for sharing your wisdom, your food, your stories, and your laughter with me.
To continue a long HIP Americorps tradition (hi Phoenica and Brian), here’s a list — of eight silly takeaways from my time in the HIP office:
- HIP staff potlucks are the best time of the month and some of my most treasured meals this past year.
- There’s no use crying over spilled anything — milk, hundreds of pumpkin seeds, rotten watermelon guts, gallons of teriyaki sauce, dried cherries, etc. etc.
- My life is going to feel pretty low in bread for a while with the amount that I consumed at HIP #EarlRolls #JacquesBread
- Not sure what I’ll do now to replace my bi-monthly adrenaline rush from packing parties (and/or weekly rush during a Cooking Matters series).
- The HIP printer will not miss me. Nor will I miss it.
- I am never not in the mood for banana bread.
- When Srijan laughs, everyone laughs (and can’t stop).
- There’s no better way to prepare for packing parties than a GraSam dance party during setup.
HIP, I am not the same because of you and will not be the same without you. You’re cool; don’t ever change.