Twelve weeks sounds like a long time, right? Eighty-four days sounds like a lot less, we suppose. That’s how long the summer 2015 interns have been living in Florida. That’s how long they’ve been working for To Write Love on Her Arms. As we prepare to bid them farewell and safe travels, it feels…too soon. Too soon for goodbye hugs, too soon for sad parking lot waves, too soon for tears. And yet, in a few short hours, all those things will have happened. So instead, we’re going to focus on what the last 12 weeks have held.
Our interns traveled from all over the world – Perth, Western Australia; Los Altos, California; Mt. Pleasant, Michigan; Jacksonville, Illinois; Kansas City, Missouri; Rochester, New York; Beecher, Illinois; St. Catharine’s, Ontario; Chapel Hill, North Carolina – to be part of the mission and vision of TWLOHA. They stood behind booths in Melbourne, Miami, West Palm Beach, Orlando, St. Petersburg, and Jacksonville. They read and responded to 1,200 messages from supporters. They packed and shipped orders to 15 different countries. They swam with manatees, watched baseball games, played volleyball, attempted to surf, went to concerts, got tattoos, and took more sunset photos than they can count. They became part of our family, and we couldn’t be more thankful.
On their first day in town, before they had even seen the office, we asked our interns to work a Homecoming Beach Party for Ashlyn Harris of the U.S. Women’s National Team. Most of them hadn’t met our staff yet, but they showed up ready and willing to help wherever needed. One of the tasks they were assigned was setting up flags that didn’t have all the components needed for assembly. When asked how they were going to put the flag together, their response was “zip ties and heart.” That became something of a slogan for this amazing group of people. They are quite possibly the most adaptable, hard-working, selfless intern class we’ve ever had. We’ve lost track of how many times we’ve said, “Hey guys – we know _______ was the plan for today, but instead…” and they’ve risen to the occasion every time. These words on a screen could never convey how grateful we are for that, or how they continually showed up every day ready to give it their all again.
Billy, Emily, Hayley, Kylie, Mel, Monica, Nate, Nathan, and Ryan: This is the hard part. The goodbye part. The last 12 weeks have meant the world to us. Every sunset chased, every wave caught, every email sent, every order packed, every moment – we hope you’ll remember them always. As you head home and try to explain to the world what this summer was like, please know it’s OK if that’s hard. We know. We remember. We hold it in our hearts, too. We are honored to have spent 84 days living life with you. Wherever your stories lead next we can promise you this: There’s a team of people in Florida cheering for you every step of the way. We love you.
We’re now accepting applications for our spring 2016 intern term. Apply here!