Emma Harris is the part-time Marketing and Development Assistant at Hospice & Community Care. A former intern and current employee, Emma shared a little about her work and what it means to her.
“I send out letters, appeals, and enter individuals into our fundraising software. I write different types of letters, memorial letters, thank you letters, and bereavement letters. I help with The Caring Closet here at Hospice, both with researching and sending mailings as well as helping people interested in borrowing or donating durable medical equipment. I really enjoy that.”
“I started with Hospice as an intern through Winthrop University,” said Emma. “I took a class at Winthrop, a psychology internship class, which was a senior capstone class, and I had previous experience working at a nursing home. It was a competitive opportunity to earn an internship opportunity. When I told my professor that I had different experiences, including my work at the nursing home, she said a lot of students don’t have an interest in working with older people. So she put me with Hospice, and I got the internship. Actually, in the middle of my internship, I was offered a job here. I was very grateful for the amazing opportunity to work here.”
According to Emma, she had some preconceived notions about Hospice before starting here. “Well before working here I thought Hospice was where people came to die. I had no idea that it was so developed and integrated. The ‘& Community Care’ part was not something I associated with hospice because of how it was set up in my hometown. So when I came here, it was so amazing to see how much the organization gives back and how much it helps. Hospice has teams upon teams of people who are very smart and driven to help people. I thought that was really cool how they find people with similar interests who want to help together. And they help – at the end of the day that is what they do, and they do a really great job of helping. The community aspect is what I have really taken from this Hospice.”
One of the things Emma enjoys is working in The Caring Closet. When asked what was so gratifying about helping with The Caring Closet, Emma shared some of her experiences working with individuals utilizing the program. “I am a psychology major, so I enjoy hearing the stories. Every person who comes in is different and has different needs. To touch them in a way that helps them, listening to their stories and letting them be heard is very relieving to them. And to be helped is very relieving. I listen to so many stories, and people tell me ‘No one would help me’ and ‘I had no idea this existed, thank you so much.’ I had so many people cry on me; it is so fantastic and rewarding to really help people.”
“My friends are always asking ‘what do you do there?’ I tell them that we are focused on helping the community and doing outreach. A lot of my work is an indirect reflection of how to help people. While I am not directly with the families, I am sending the families letters. And I am not directly donating, but I am processing the information and helping the organization. Wanting to be a quantitative psychologist, helping people indirectly is very relatable. Using numbers, using databases, and using math to further research a cause is what I enjoy doing. Before taking this job, I feel I was very egocentric, such as I wanted a specific career because it would provide a good income, etc. It was all me, me, me. Now, after working here, it really opened my eyes about what it means to help others, to thank people, and do things for people. It is amazing, and I had lost sight of that in school because I think you get into survival mode. It is great to have a community and a workplace like this, and now I have a different perspective.”
Hospice & Community Care is proud to employ a diverse staff who seek to provide value to not only our organization but to the community. Through their individual tasks, our employees are helping our patients and their families access exceptional hospice care when then need it most. Our long history with partnering with Winthrop University demonstrates our commitment to impact all areas of the community through our work. Emma’s youth, passion, and enthusiasm inspire us to better the world through our individual gifts and talents.