J.D. recaps his time working on Goodwill-Easter Seals public policy issues

Over the last few months, we were lucky enough to have Joshua Davis (better known as J.D.) here as an intern, working on our policy initiatives during this year’s Minnesota legislative session. J.D. is currently completing his Senior Year at Luther College, majoring in Social Work.

Before he left he was kind enough to write down his thoughts about his experience here at Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota:

Initially, I had no idea what to expect as I arrived on the first day of my internship at Goodwill-Easter Seals. It was one of those particularly frigid January mornings. I walked through the glass doors that day, frozen and confused about what exactly I was going to be doing here. I quickly found that this is truly an amazing place with a powerful purpose and a people with a passion to match.

J.D. with Minnesota Speaker of the House, Kurt Daudt

This passion is a pervasive energy that quickly warmed my chilled limbs that first day. Flowing throughout the organization, it’s an energy evident in the smiles of the staff and the demeanor of the participants. Within my first couple days at Goodwill, I felt as if I had been swept up by the diverse passions rushing throughout the building, and I’ve been floating along, joyfully, ever since.

My only regret about my internship at Goodwill-Easter Seals is its brevity. I have been here just four short months and now find myself packing my things to move on in search of a next step. I catch myself each time I say that: four months. I have held dead-end jobs that I absolutely hated for longer than I have been here. Goodwill-Easter Seals is truly an amazing place where miracles happen every day. Believe me, I’ve seen them – particularly among the ReEntry team, with whom I got the most exposure.

It is, perhaps, both fitting and misleading that I should be writing this on Volunteer Recognition week. It is absolutely wonderful that Goodwill is taking time and resources this week to thank the many volunteers who help make its mission a success. But, in my humble opinion, it is we who should be thanking Goodwill.

I would thank them for welcoming me with open arms into their ranks and never treating me as if I was somehow less than any staff member. I would thank them for the opportunity to be a part of the miraculous work being done in so many different avenues. How many other organizations can claim they work and advocate for people with mental health issues and people with physical disabilities and people with criminal records – all while also fighting poverty in general? Thank you, Goodwill, for taking a stand in all these important areas. Finally, I would thank them for providing a space where staff, volunteers, and even the participants in their programs can come and cultivate their passions: creating an epicenter of trust, understanding, and growth for everyone who chooses to participate.

Again, thank you for all you have done Goodwill and for all the work you will continue to do for many long years to come.

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