Hold on to your butts because day three was rough.
I woke up at 5:30AM because I was scheduled to be at the hotel from 8 AM-12 AM the following morning. I decided to wake up that early and do my makeup all nice and fancy, assuming that I wouldn’t make it home again before the Gala actually started. The drive to the hotel was about 45-50 minutes and since another one of my infamous mottoes is “Be 30 minutes early to everything or don’t go at all,” looks like I’d be leaving the house earlier then necessary. I was told to bring my dress and anything else I would need in preparation for staying at the hotel all day.
I meet up with the other interns while we waited for our tasks to be handed out for the day. First thing on the list… set up auction items on the tables according to numbers, colors, and table props. I never dreamed that placing auction items on tables could be so difficult. In between being reprimanded for not properly placing items and shifting boxes inches apart to look like we were doing something, we attempted to place roughly 5-8 auction items. After two painful hours of failing, we were reassigned to something else. (Praise God) We were told to go in the ballroom which is where the guests would be eating for the night. We had to strategically measure and place gold chair ribbons around the chairs, (another example of meticulousness) but hey, we knew we couldn’t fail (that much) at that! This took probably an hour and a half.
Afterwards, we tied up loose ends with our supervisors by doing random jobs here and there. At 12:30, one of our supervisors says that they don’t need our help again until 4:30. (great, I live like 45 minutes away.) I went home, did some touch-ups on my makeup (because you already know that I needed to) and got changed with time to spare.
I got back there at 4:30 on the dot. We were handed our duty list for the night. Each volunteer had different duties scheduled throughout the night. Some began their duties at the registration table where the couples checked in and set up their mobile bidding applications. Others, like me, were walking around selling single playing cards for a drawing later that evening. I was given a new task after that to greet the guests and help out at the photo booth. When our time was up, we moved on the the following task. Mine was to go into the ballroom before dinner was served to sell backwards bingo cards (If you’re unsure what that is, it’s all in the name) to tables. After a hectic time of trying to locate my selling partner, (one of the other interns) we sold a total of probably 20 cards. After our time was up for that duty, we had dinner. Sweet, sweet dinner. It was cold and nowhere near the quality as those being served in the ballroom but still food.
Two more tasks to go! After our scheduled dinner times, our next duty was to participate in the silent auction. We were given glow sticks to point to people who were placing bets. The section that I was given was not super lively and my feet were near bleeding at this point but I was enjoying every minute of the opportunity I was given. The employees of the non-profit just lit up at every donation and bet they received. In those moments, you could tell that they knew that all of the stress and hard work to plan this event was paying off. Afterwards, our last task was to monitor the treat table, tie up loose ends with any drawings, and help any guests who had questions. At this time, it was nearing midnight and I was feeling it. In between helping to clean up behind the scenes and fulfilling my final tasks, I was hoping and praying that my assistance was becoming less and less required. At 12 AM, I was free!
What I learned: I was tired but I did nothing compared to those fully involved. I mean I literally just started two days ago! Working for a non-profit is very difficult. There are long nights filled with strict organization and reviewing details. You have to believe in what you are doing. Passion is the root of success. (Not sure who said that but I swear I’m not taking credit for it so don’t sue me for plagiarizing) I believe it, though. These employees have invested so much into non-profits. When it comes down to it, all of the meticulous expectations and fast-paced timelines are apart of a bigger picture. You know that the funding you bring in will go towards something great. With that pressure on their shoulders, I too would be meticulous.