Excitement. Of all the emotions felt at the beginning of each intern term – reverence, nervousness, giddiness – excitement is usually the strongest. When Casey, Chris, Daylee, Elyse, Keisha, Mariah, Rachel, and Sam arrived at our offices for the first time on January 14, they were no different. To say they hit the ground running is an understatement.
This spring held some of the most exciting times we’ve seen at To Write Love on Her Arms. It kicked off with HEAVY AND LIGHT Los Angeles and Orlando, followed quickly by the 8th annual AFSP Out of the Darkness Walk and our hometown screening of the “To Write Love on Her Arms” movie – and that was just the first 60 days. Our founder signed his first book deal, while Jared Padalecki and his fans sold more than 45,000 shirts as part of his “Always Keep Fighting” campaign. We also hosted our 3rd annual Run For It 5K, which brought together supporters from all 50 states and 8 countries, and we continued to spread a message of hope and help at music festivals and speaking events.
In the midst of all these incredible, once-in-a-lifetime things, there were also eight people navigating life together. It’s been a season full of transition, learning, growing, conflict resolution, and community. At times it hasn’t been easy, but every moment has brought us to today: the day when we have to say “see you soon.” Over the last four months, they’ve responded to hundreds of messages from people all over the world, packed more merchandise than we can count, worked behind booths all over the state of Florida, been covered in sweat, paint, and tears, and eaten “all the carbs” and had “all the feelings.” They’ve served this organization with open minds and full hearts, and for that we could never say “thank you” enough.
Simply put, without our interns TWLOHA wouldn’t exist. I don’t say that because it’ll make them feel special or so people will apply to be part of this experience. I say it because it’s true. As a staff, we wouldn’t be able to carry this story without them. Getting to spend 15 weeks loving, leading, and learning with them is one of the great joys of my life.
Casey, Chris, Daylee, Elyse, Keisha, Mariah, Rachel, and Sam: I love y’all so much. On your first day at the office, Chad asked us to give him three words that we felt described ourselves in this season. Mine were Leader, Sister, and Friend. Thank you for letting me be all three. This place and this team will miss you more than you know. You’ve been woven into the fabric of our hearts, and we can’t wait to see where your stories go from here. Remember these days and all they’ve held. Hold them dear. Most of all, we hope you take your next steps bravely and with as much excitement as you did when you walked in our doors for the first time. Know this team is cheering you on the whole way.
Our Intern Program is a great way to be directly involved and immersed in the mission of TWLOHA. Interns are invited to join us in Melbourne, FL for a term to live in community together while developing both personally and professionally. Apply for our Fall 2015 term here.