Fighting Poverty with Passion
|It’s been very difficult to write a field report this month. My Grandpa was hospitalized on Tuesday, April 27th, and he died on Wednesday, May 5th. His death has overshadowed everything, and it is difficult to recall what I working on before his death.
During this time, I have been extremely grateful to AmeriCorps VISTA for all of its help and support. Thanks to AmeriCorps, I was able to take emergency leave and see my Grandpa in the hospital before he died. AmeriCorps gave me five days of emergency leave, and the Vista Member Support Unit is going to reimburse the cost of my flight to New Jersey, which a normal employer would not do. In addition, everyone at Tulane CPS and Catholic Charities has been thoughtful and wonderful. I even received a card signed by everyone on my floor at Catholic Charities.
It has been great to be a part of such a supportive VISTA program with friends who checked up on me while I was away and who have offered support since I’ve been back. Also, last week, we had a VISTA Retreat at Longue Vue House and Gardens. This Retreat really helped me to regain my focus and to remember that life is still going on, even though it feels like nothing will ever really be normal again. Hopefully, by next month I’ll have gained a better understanding of how to move on while keeping the memory of my Grandpa alive. -Jackie Thornton, AmeriCorps VISTA