Photo: Yvette and Jose Vazquez

Manatee County Habitat for Humanity Hits the Nail on the Head with The Patterson Foundation's Nonprofit Internship Program

Posted on August 11, 2021 by KC Quaretti, Manatee County Habitat for Humanity

When The Patterson Foundation contacted local nonprofit organizations about participating in its Nonprofit Internship Program, we thought long and hard about whether to apply or not. Did we have enough for an intern to do? Since they would not be local, would it work to have everything done remotely? Did we have time to organize, outline a work plan, and guide them through projects? All legitimate questions for any organization but especially important when your nonprofit organization runs on minimal staff. At the time, we were actually short by one team member!

Knowing we had a faith build starting in September, we decided an intern could take on the monumental task of contacting all the churches and faith groups in Manatee County. They could call representatives from each group to get all the pertinent contact information and share about the upcoming build. Laying the groundwork for the faith groups' volunteering or donating was the final segment of the assignment.

We submitted our proposal and waited to see if any Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy students would apply. We ended up having two amazing candidates wanting to intern with us. Choosing just one was extremely difficult, and I admit, I wished we could have them both!

Myah Bales started off with very little experience in this area of community outreach but jumped right into the tasks at hand. Her enthusiasm and desire to do a great job was just amazing! She interacted with the different religious groups like she was born to do the job. It was such a joy to see how much energy and positivity she brought to every call.

The database that Myah built will be immensely helpful to Manatee Habitat moving forward. She has been a valuable and professional representative for this organization. We already miss her and will be looking forward to following her next steps. Any philanthropic organization will be lucky to have her on its team!

Let me introduce Yvette and Jose Vazquez, the future purchasers of our 2021/2022 Interfaith Build that wonderful Myah was working on!

To any organizations considering applying to the Nonprofit Internship Program, I cannot say enough good things about our experience with The Patterson Foundation, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and the students! We got so much more out of this than what we were hoping for! A huge thank you to The Patterson Foundation and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy!

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