Lauren Chin ’14

This week I finished up my internship. I was busy calling agencies, working to get a few more projects submitted and I am excited that there is now a variety of choices for volunteers to select from. As I was organizing projects, volunteers were calling because they were eager to  select a project for their volunteer team. Although the projects are not quite available for selection, it is exciting to hear that people are ready and thinking about Day of Caring.

I also continued to do research and worked to help organize the luncheon portion of the day for the volunteers. I am excited to have two WPI students who have volunteered to play some jazz music. The volunteer shirts are ordered, lunches are getting selected, and ultimately the luncheon is really coming together. I also walked over to St. Vincent (still learning my way around downtown Worcester) with Kerri to check out the space and visualize how the luncheon will be set up in just a few weeks. I can’t wait until September 12th to see how everything comes together and the success of the event!

It’s hard to believe that my internship is over already, boy does ten weeks fly by! I really enjoyed my time at United Way and overall it was a great experience. I learned so much through the experience, about United Way, the Worcester community, and programs offered through United Way. One of my favorite parts of the internship was getting to know the other employees, everyone was so kind, welcoming, and appreciative of the other interns and myself.

Now it’s time to relax and enjoy the last few weeks of summer before moving back to Worcester for senior year!

Summer’s almost over! This is the second to last week of my internship at United Way. I have been working to organize volunteer and agency information packets to send out in the coming weeks. Also, I have been calling and e-mailing a few more agencies and schools who have participated in past years to get a few more projects registered.

Lastly, I have been planning and organizing the Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. There are five main parts to the luncheon that I have spent a lot of time researching and getting information on. THey include:

1.       An activity to get people interacting and chatting. – I have been looking ice-breakers and bridal/baby shower games to get my ideas flowing.

2.       Lunch – Speaking with different caterers to get quotes, specifically those located at St. Vincent.

3.       Centerpieces – A fun decoration, likely edible!

4.       Entertainment – Likely a student group or individual to sing, play an instrument, etc. from one of the local colleges.

5.       Giveaways/Prizes – Something fun and an prize people want to win and take home!

I am excited to spend the remainder of the week making decisions on the luncheon and I hope it will be a fun and memorable part of the day for volunteers.

Now, it’s time to pack up my apartment to move out of Williams tomorrow. I will be commuting to Worcester rather than moving into Clark for the final week of my internship. It’s hard to believe how fast the past eight weeks have gone by!

This week I have been continuing to hound different agencies to get more projects registered. Currently there are volunteer opportunities for over 1,100 individuals!!  There are a few more agencies that I have been in contact with and I am awaiting their project submission. Hopefully I can get a few more projects registered and have more opportunities for volunteers (I’m hoping to get 1,400!).

Aside from making calls and sending e-mails, I have also perused the photos online of past Day of Caring events focusing on the ‘Live United’ t-shirts. While the front will say ‘Live United’ I am hoping to do something fun/creative/a little different on the back while still saying Day of Caring and sponsor information.

Today I was also able to leave the office for a couple hours and head to campus where the two Indonesian professors were presenting their work from the past two months. It was great to hear them talk about their new projects with so much pride and excitement. It was also inspiring to hear about how much they have accomplished and all that they have learned in such a short amount of time!

Monday I will bid farewell to Debri, the visiting professor I have mainly been working with and begin the last two weeks of my internship! Just about a month until I will begin senior year!

Busy on the internship front this week. Projects are still coming in and we have over 40 projects with opportunities for over 800 volunteers! I am working to continue to contact additional agencies to submit more projects.

I have been working on information packets to send to agencies who have already registered their projects. In making the packets one component was name tags, which I thought would be pretty easy to make, just like mailing labels. Little did I know what the printer had in-store for me. I printed a few sheets successfully, making sure that all of the label design was on the label and, being eager, sent 20 sheets to print. Wellllll less than halfway done, the screen starts flashing and showing me the location of the jam. So I clear the sheets of labels clogging the machine and off they went, continuing to print. Before I knew it, the screen was flashing at me again and I unclogged the machine and finished printing the last couple sheets.  I had made less than 200 labels out of 1,200, but needless to say, I think both me and the printer needed a break. Later that day, I found out that the color labels often make the machine overheat and interns often face this same situation when make the Day of Caring name tag labels… Well let’s hope I can print the rest of the labels without causing any damage!

Also exciting news, Children’s Friend submitted their project just in the nick of time and were the lucky winners of the registration raffle ending last week. They were awarded a spiffy United Way lunch box and insulated water bottle!

Some snapshots of the past couple weeks. Enjoy!

Agency Save-the-Date postcards

Volunteer Save-the-Date postcards

Agency Registration Flier

Said goodbye to 10 inches of hair

Fourth of July

Out to Lunch Concert series at City Hall

Jason Aldean at Fenway

Friday was the agency deadline to submit projects for Day of Caring and be entered to win a raffle, so for most of the week I was busy answering questions on the phone, responding to various e-mails, and resetting account passwords. It was great to speak with people from throughout the community who were excited for Day of Caring (while many were also frustrated that they could not enter their project online, “Why is registration so complicated?”). And when I left on Friday afternoon, we had projects of all sorts and slots for over 500 volunteers! Projects are continuing to trickle in and the event is really coming together. This week I will be busy calling agencies who participated last year and giving them another friendly reminder (I feel as though I may be driving some of them a bit crazy!) to think about their projects and get them registered ASAP. Hoping to reach projects for 700 volunteers by the end of the week!

Since I have been living on campus this summer, aside from my internship, I have been able to continue to work on research in the Sleep Lab with Professor Wolfson. I have been doing research with Professor Wolfson for the past two years and last semester we collected more data on the sleep habits of college students and the presence of light. We collected a significant amount of data and were able to get the majority into the computer and run some basic analyses, but this summer we are going to spend some time looking into different relationships within the data. By continuing to analyze data from the last semester, I am hoping to see significant findings as we further analyze the data.

Additionally, I have also had the opportunity to work with one of the Indonesian professors who is visiting for about 8 weeks. She is working to start a new research study and I have been able to assist her in the creation of a survey for the study. It has been a great opportunity to work with the Indonesian professor to start to develop a new study that will be used in the US and Indonesia in the future.

I am looking forward to continuing research this summer and into the fall semester.

Sorry for being MIA this week, I have been quite busy between traveling a bit and enjoying the sun on my long weekend. On Monday I sent out e-mails to volunteers and agencies reminding them to sign up online for Day of Caring. I was hoping to have a few more projects submitted and volunteers registered before leaving for the holiday.

On Tuesday, I headed with Alex, the Youth Programs Intern, to Community Harvest Project for one of her events. We spent the morning picking zucchini and squash, tending (aka weeding) the peppers and the finished up by washing and packaging some of the vegetables that we had picked. Our guide was Abby, a Holy Cross student, and we also bumped into a few other familiar Holy Cross faces while we were there! The farm is run by volunteers all year round and the food is donated to the Worcester County Food Bank, all the kids seemed to really enjoy helping out on the farm.

On Wednesday, I worked to modify/create the Release of Liability/ Consent Forms for volunteers. Then I sent out yet another e-mail to agencies (I hope they aren’t too tired of receiving them yet!), the e-mail was reminding them to submit projects for Day of Caring because the deadline is fast approaching!

Wednesday after work I headed home for my family’s annual 4th of July barbeque, which is always finished by a trip into Boston to see the fireworks. Then I headed south to the Cape and then also up to Gloucester to stick my toes in the sand, melt in the 90+ temperatures, and freeze in the water.

It has been a busy week and weekend and it is hard to believe that I am now halfway through my internship! Back into the office tomorrow to really push and reiterate next week’s project registration deadline. I’m hoping to have more volunteers and projects than ever for United Way of CM’s 20th annual Day of Caring!

This week has been a busy one so far! I started out the week by creating a registration flier for agencies. The flier provides agencies with information as to how to register their projects (online and on paper), project ideas, and some of the benefits of submitting a project and participating in Day of Caring. With a revised e-mail list I was able to send out the flier electronically (being green of course and saving postage money!) to the agencies who also received the postcard early last week. And as a result of the registration flier, more responses and projects are slowly coming in.

I also worked to create a volunteer flier to provide businesses, colleges, unions, churches, etc. with information about Day of Caring. The purpose of this flier is to get volunteers interested and to have them register online to receive up-to-date information as Day of Caring nears. This flier is still in the works and I am working on ways to make it creative, appealing, and interesting to draw volunteers in!

Lastly, I have been going through the project registrations to be sure the time slots are correct, the descriptions are clear and informative, and the directions ensure that no one will get lost! It has been great to see the different projects that agencies are starting to submit.

Some pictures to come soon!

Today was an exciting day; I was able to see a tidbit of my work thus far come to fruition. I logged on to the website this morning and there they were: two projects were posted for Day of Caring! I had projects, after just a few days of my event being spotlighted on the website and before I even sent out the agency ‘save the date’ postcards. Those first projects are the product of just a couple weeks of work in a list of projects that will continue to grow throughout the summer. By seeing the couple projects added, I am looking forward to seeing the creativity and differences in the projects that will develop Day of Caring into an enjoyable community-wide event as it has been in previous years.

This morning I also met with the communications director and we discussed a few different social media ideas to get started on and to get the word out into the community about Day of Caring. And now, today we have a Facebook event, Day of Caring 2013, on the United Way of Central Mass organization page and Day of Caring tweets on Twitter @UnitedWayofCM . ‘Like’ and ‘follow’ United Way now; throughout the summer the Facebook and Twitter will be useful social media tools to share Day of Caring information, details, past event pictures, and so much more! (Sorry for the plug!)