January 13, 2017Marie Nedich

Kathy Stirling is an avid kayaker, calls herself mom to service dog Murphy, and recently left corporate America after a long career with Levi Strauss & Co. Ryan Kimball plays lacrosse, enjoys his role as a school peer counselor, and is a rising senior at Lick-Wilmerding High School. Kathy and Ryan, upon first glance, have absolutely nothing in common. Yet here they are: interning for Meals On Wheels of San Francisco, brought together by a common goal of serving San Francisco’s homebound seniors.

Kathy and Ryan are two of a cohort of eight interns currently serving in varying capacities throughout our organization. Their backgrounds and interests are as diverse as the skills they apply here and the goals they are setting – both for themselves and for us. Christine Lee, who is taking a 6-month leave of absence from her job in tech, joined our Volunteer Department this Spring with a moral imperative. “Having been raised in San Francisco (in the Sunset where my parents still live),” Christine says, “and seeing the changes that have occurred in the city over the past decade or so, I felt like I had to help however I can.”

Laura Richardson, a UC Davis student majoring in Human Development, can relate: “From living in San Francisco for most of my life, I’ve seen the diversity in the city but also how much older citizens are in need. I see this internship as an opportunity to learn more about nonprofits and to also contribute to something great.”

For one of our interns, time spent here is inspired by personal events. Kanti Mistry, a data management intern and a self-described “tinkerer,” knows the importance of our services. “I’m retired now. Traveling around the world is OK, but I need to find more rewarding ways to spend my time. I cared for my father for the last five years before he passed away, so I know how valuable a helping hand can be in keeping the elderly out of hospitals or nursing homes. This search and experience led me to Meals On Wheels!”

Kelly Six and Eunice Shin are both contributing to Meals On Wheels while preparing for new careers in related fields. Kelly, our Nutrition Department intern, relates, “My plan is to go back to school for nutrition and become a Registered Dietician in order combine my enthusiasm for food, teaching, and health. Being an intern at Meals On Wheels has been a wonderful way to stretch my brain.” Eunice, our longest-serving intern, is currently working toward her Masters in Gerontology at San Francisco State University. She assists in coordinating Client Needs and Ensure deliveries to our clients.

No matter how far and wide our interns come from to help us serve San Francisco’s seniors, they all have one thing in common: an unwavering dedication to the mission. Jordan Buchanan, a finance student at the University of Georgia, says, appropriately, that “interning with Meals On Wheels presented the perfect opportunity to invest my time while here [in San Francisco].” Ryan Kimball, too, sees his internship as “a great way to expand my impact on the community while learning valuable skills and lessons along the way.”

Those lessons can be tough, but they are eye-opening, and they are inspiring, says Christine Lee, who is not only dedicated but grateful. “This internship has taught me to be humble and appreciate all we have in life. Any issues I may face in my personal or professional life is nothing compared to seeing some of our seniors and the daily struggles they may go through.”

Meals on Wheels San Francisco thanks each of our interns for their time, energy, and the immense value they add to our organization.

For information about our internship program and how you can contribute, please contact Meredith Terrell at mterrell@mowsf.org.


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