Reflections from a CUMAC Intern

Shanee, jeni, ely and mouna in cumac's food pantry and referral office

Shanee, jeni, ely and mouna in cumac's food pantry and referral office

My journey with CUMAC started through an afternoon of community service. Studying Public Administration with a focus on non-profit organizations, I was required by my school to spend time volunteering in my community. There were many different locations to choose from for community service, but when I looked deeper into my choices I realized that many of my options did not give me a hands-on opportunity to help.  Fortunately, I found CUMAC and immediately I knew that it was the best place for me to contribute. From the first day I felt the family atmosphere and was welcomed as part of the team.  In the few hours that I volunteered, the experience made a lasting impression. I was amazed by how many people, individuals and groups, were coming together under one roof to make the work possible and I was compelled to share it with my friends and professors. 

That’s why when I needed somewhere to complete my internship, I came back to CUMAC. I was looking for ways to truly help families in need. After being granted the option to intern with CUMAC, I was happy to find out that my first task was to aid with the Holiday Wish List program. I began sorting clothing, toys and gifts that were donated to CUMAC. Once gathered and organized we distributed the gifts to the families and children in the program. In less than four weeks we were able to distribute gifts for over 1,000 children, bringing many smiles to kids in our neighborhood. On top of the already great feeling of being able to give back to our community, we received many thank you cards from the families we helped, expressing their appreciation and love. It was an experience I will always remember. 

leigh and mouna packing bags for cumac's holiday wish list program

leigh and mouna packing bags for cumac's holiday wish list program

Since the Holiday Wish List program I have assisted with projects in every department, allowing me to learn and serve. In every program, CUMAC’s help shows no bounds.  CUMAC provides services for nearly 40,000 people each year, regardless of race, creed, sex or religion. From the trucks that distribute food every day to the training given to clients to get them back into the workforce, you will always find a helping hand and hope with CUMAC. Thirty years of giving and still this friendly, family environment is getting bigger and expanding its impact.   

After four months with CUMAC, I am sad to be completing my internship. This organization gave me love and showed me how I can hold responsibilities and make a difference in my community. Knowing that my time, energy and effort is putting food on a friend’s table and helping them during a rough time has truly been the most fulfilling experience of my life. No amount of money can replace the feeling and satisfaction of helping those in need. Your age, status and wealth have no bearing when it’s time to give back. I encourage you all to get involved with CUMAC and see for yourself how terrific it is. 

- Mouna Hamidaddin