At The Heart Of Abby’s House: 2021 Summer Interns

At The Heart Of Abby’s House: 2021 Summer Interns

Since the doors of the shelter first opened in 1976, volunteers have been an important piece to our mission. Volunteers help staff the overnight shelter, run the Thrift Shop, prepare meals for the women in the kitchen, help with special events, and so much more.

It was the first class of women undergraduates at the College of the Holy Cross who first volunteered to staff the overnight shelter back in 1976, and their dedication continues to this day. This summer we’re happy to welcome two Holy Cross seniors, Nora McKenna and Isabella Smith. Learn more about them and why they felt called to give their time to the women and children of Abby’s House.

Nora McKenna, Holy Cross ’22 Majors: Political Science and Sociology Concentration: Peace and Conflict Studies

How did you find out about intern opportunities at Abby’s House, and what made you want to intern here?
I found out about the internship at Abby’s House through the Holy Cross Chaplain’s Office, but I first heard about the organization’s work through some friends of mine who volunteered during the school year.

What are your responsibilities when interning at Abby’s House?
My responsibilities range from shelter coverage, working at the thrift shop, reception, and a variety of staff projects.

What are you hoping to get out of this experience?
I hope to gain a deeper understanding of the situations surrounding homelessness, specifically in the Worcester area. I am so honored to have the opportunity to work with individuals who advocate for one of the city’s most vulnerable populations. I would not be the person I am today without the strong women in my life who taught me how to discern the good and be an effective force for it in the world. I would love to use the experience I gain from my time at Abby’s House to continue on my journey to serve others and advocate for the poor and marginalized in our community and beyond.

Is there anything else you want us to know?
My choice in studies puts me on track to attend law school where I plan to study human rights law. Abby’s House’s commitment to providing housing and services for women and children is what first drew me to apply for this position. The provision of services to the underserved populations of Massachusetts continues to be of the greatest importance, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Isabella Smith, Holy Cross ’22 Major: Classics

How did you find out about intern opportunities at Abby’s House, and what made you want to intern here?
I found out about the internship through the Holy Cross Chaplain’s Office. The mission of Abby’s House is impressive and inspiring, and I wanted to be able to contribute to it.

What are your responsibilities when interning at Abby’s House?
I spend two nights a week at the shelter, making sure everything goes smoothly, and I work a few hours a week during the day at the Thrift Shop on High Street and at the reception desk.

What are you hoping to get out of this experience?
I am hoping to learn more about the causes of homelessness, especially for women and young people, and learn a little bit more about what can be done to eradicate those causes.

Is there anything else you want us to know?
I have really enjoyed my time at Abby’s House and I have been impressed by how cheerful and hopeful everyone working and staying at the shelter is.