“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” ―Maya Angelou
My Time Spent at Josephine Herrick Project
By Brittany Connolly
Over the past year, I have given a lot of myself to the Josephine Herrick Project. More importantly however, is how much JHP has given to me. Starting here as an intern, still finishing up my psychology degree, unsure of my future, I was thrilled when JHP eventually gave me a job as Program Coordinator. It was the first job I have been proud of having, and the only one I have ever felt such a strong connection to.
I quickly began to learn the ins and outs of nonprofit from my superiors, and also that running a small organization without very much money was not an easy feat. Everyone needed to work closely together in order for us to function as a successful entity. From functions to fundraisers to charity auctions, it has been a long and sometimes tumultuous road but at the end of the day it was of course, all worth it.
Nothing was more important to me then seeing the impact JHP classes had on our students and with this I knew for certain that charity and human services was where I wanted to be. The VA programs we worked with hold a special place in my heart, coming from a family with Vietnam Era Veterans, reading the words of the Veteran individuals in our programs and being able to look at their photographs felt very personal. I can only imagine how different certain things may have turned out, for members of my family personally, had art therapy tools and creative expression been utilized with veterans sooner. The thought of this makes me sad, but I regain my strength knowing that what we do now can only have a positive impact on future soldiers and ex military. I remember looking through photographs of my uncle’s time in Vietnam; he was a kid, with a face very much like mine only brown from the sun. There were no jobs when these men arrived home, people were very much against the war and at that time, unsupportive and judgmental of the young soldiers who had returned. Now at JHP I look through photographs of veterans from many wars, always beautiful photographs that many times tell stories about combat VS civilian life, and I feel extremely lucky. These talented and courageous people are given the opportunity to be creative, develop a skill, and most importantly tell their story.
Although my time here is coming to an end, as all things do, it marks a year of learning, growth and change for me, as well as our organization. As JHP continues to grow, I will also continue to support its mission and its students in any way I am able. Just having turned 24, I can safely say this is the most important thing I have been a part of, and the beginning of something incredibly exciting. Customers at my other job will occasionally ask what else I do, and regulars will joke that “She’s saving the world.” I laugh when this happens but of course, can’t help but feel a sense of pride in what we do here at JHP and what I myself am setting out to accomplish.
JHP is a wonderful organization that will no doubt be around for a very long time. Everything you do affects the lives of others and I am confidant when you give to an organization like this one you are creating a ripple that will absolutely contribute to changing a life for the better. I hate to overdo it with the quotes, but some things are better left said to those who know exactly how to say them.
“The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.” -Mahatma Gandhi
At the end of the day, lift each other up, do what you feel is right, give to those who need it, and you will sleep soundly.
By Brittany Connolly
Josephine Herrick Project