ServeHere has two summer interns working with Mobile Loaves and Fishes (MLF), a ministry dedicated to lifting up our homeless brothers and sisters, while challenging communities to live a lifestyle of service to them.
Marc is a Concordia communications and psychology major who has worked for Genesis Gardens leaders Steven Hebbard and Heidi Sloan. Genesis Gardens is a sustainable agriculture program that enables Community First! residents to grow healthy food for the community while learning to lead others.
Tim is a UT finance major who works for MLF’s CFO Katie Zunker. Tim’s big project has been to analyze, model and suggest improvements for the ROADS micro-enterprise program. The ROADs program is designed to create an income source that is manageable, flexible and sufficient to live with dignity. Opportunities stem from a range of micro-enterprise activities like vending carts, art galleries and woodworking workshops.
We have all enjoyed learning about the innovative ministries of MLF from our cohort meetings with Tim and Marc – so we were especially pleased when Katie invited the whole ServeHere team their offices on Bee Cave road.
Katie brought along fellow staff leader Nate Schlueter and they spent half the morning talking to us about their ministry, their careers, and the choices and challenges they have faced along the way. It was a thoughtful and inspiring time for our team – and a great opportunity to learn from two very accomplished business executives who made the decision to leave their successful marketplace jobs behind for a career with an impactful non-profit.
We so appreciate the opportunities that Mobile Loaves and Fishes provide to our two ServeHere interns – and the chance we all had to learn something from Katie and Nate this week!
In looking for additional ServeHere ministry partners this Spring, we were thrilled to discover Water to Thrive — a local non-profit with an international focus. Water to Thrive has an innovative and participatory approach for bringing clean water to communities in Africa that desperately need it. A great relationship developed between our organizations, and we are thrilled to have UT communications major Kemper Hamilton spending her summer developing marketing outreach and social media programs for Water to Thrive.
In our initial meeting, Water to Thrive’s founder and Executive Director, Dick Moeller, quickly caught the vision of ServeHere and came up with a terrific suggestion: field trips where our students can meet with the leaders of the various non-profits where their colleagues are serving. So, we were very happy to make Water to Thrive one of our first field trips of the summer!
Our gracious hosts provided a great perspective on how God turned an adult Sunday school class project into an impactful organization that has brought more than 500 wells to impoverished communities in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda. Operationally, Water to Thrive has pioneered two innovative approaches that help set them apart from many other non-profits by:
In addition to the time spent with Dick and Lizzie, the ServeHere students also engaged in a thoughtful discussion about their summer book reading assignment “No Greater Love”. It was a fitting location for this exercise, because it’s a story of a young businessman and his family move to the wilds of Ethiopia to care for orphans in communities like the ones Water to Thrive currently serve!
There are many learning opportunities programmed into a summer with ServeHere but the most important is each student’s handcrafted internship placement with a local non-profit. This is their new classroom. It’s the place where each student is challenged to directly apply what they have learned in their field of study in order to make a profound impact.
This summer, ServeHere internship placements were made in seven different faith-based non-profits around Austin. These organizations each serve populations that struggle with deep poverty. But their clients, and their circumstances, are very different — spanning the homeless, underprivileged youth, refugees, African villagers, young mothers and more.
Our Summer 2014 Non-profit Partners
Having non-profit partners who enthusiastically open their doors and provide such meaningful experiences for our students is an enormous blessing. I know they care deeply about the mission of ServeHere and embrace the opportunity to invest in and develop this new generation of servant leaders. Together, we can make a lasting impact in His name and for His glory!