I began my first day on Monday at the Giving Factory (Cradles to Crayons), and I did not know what to expect. I read articles about it and completed some research, but I did not know what a typical Monday would be like. As soon as I walk in, I noticed that although it is a warehouse everything about the warehouse is colorful. I was first introduced to the Senior Operations Manager and one of the Engagement Coordinator. They afterwards gave me a tour of the warehouse, and I noticed how each station or section of the warehouse was set up. The Giving Factory was purposely set up this way because each station has its own role and it goes in a certain order because each item that is donated to the factory has to be inspected and checked to meet their quality standards. The Giving Factory relies on volunteers to complete and check the items that are donated. The items are items that children need from when they are born through the age 12 such as shoes, clothes, books, school supplies, nursery items, and toys. At Cradles to Crayons, everything has to meet their quality standards so that when the children receive the items they are in good condition.
When I met everyone, they told me that a typical day at the Giving Factory is a day where there are volunteers at the warehouse and where the staff run the shifts. By running the shifts, they are able to explain the standards and what to check. For example, there is a station called, “clothing sort” where the volunteers must check that the clothes do not have any stains, any holes, anyone else’s name, etc. There are different groups that come in from families, to companies, to camps, and schools. I knew that this internship would help me develop better communication skills. There is always someone new that I have to communicate with whether it is someone in person or someone over the phone. Additionally, this internship will also help me with researching skills because Cradles to Crayons partners with other organizations so that they can partner with to donate the items they receive. My first week, I was shadowing other interns and other staff members running the shifts, so that I would be able to run my own shift when the time was right. My whole first week was like this where I shadowed others and adjust to the environment.