July 3, 2013

The Power of Teamwork

by Angie Ocampo

Angie Ocampo ’15 is an Impact Providence intern this summer working for the RI Interfaith Coalition to Fight Poverty.

This summer, I am interning with the Rhode Island Interfaith Coalition to Fight Poverty, but I am also working closely with the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless. One of the things that has surprised me the most is the incredible amount of teamwork that happens and how essential it is in the work that these organizations do.

A lot of the contributions that people bring to the table occur on a small scale and happen every minute of every day. Yesterday, I was asked to speak to someone in Spanish who had several questions about shelters, affordable housing, and accessing other resources. Although my knowledge regarding her specific questions was somewhat limited and I needed help answering them, it was great to know that I helped to build a bridge between someone who needed help and the resources available. This instance, and many similar cases that occur frequently, are the essence of why teamwork is so important.

Interestingly, I have observed that meetings are some of the places where teamwork is most evident. Having people from different backgrounds who have distinct ideas and experiences is what makes it possible to effectively help the community. Many times, an idea proposed by someone is revolutionary to me, not only because of its possible impact, but also because I would have never thought of it myself. These instances of teamwork have helped me learn and broaden my horizons regarding the work that non-profit organizations do.

As Josh mentioned in a previous post, one of the greatest accomplishments that RICH has accomplished was acquiring funding for rental vouchers in the state budget. Being present during much of the planning process made it evident how even small deeds, such as a person voicing their opinion to their representative or senator, were all extremely necessary, and when put together, were what helped us receive funding for something that will change the lives of many people.

A result of the teamwork that occurs every day is that we are slowly (and collectively) moving towards our goal of achieving social justice for many different individuals. Although there are several setbacks and bumps along the road, it is important to note that we are continually building on work that has been occurring for many years and that will continue to grow into the future. Even if our small contributions do not seem like momentous accomplishments, it is comforting to remember that even making a difference in one person’s life is extremely meaningful, and that we must continue our work towards achieving a greater goal of social justice for everyone.

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