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Week 6

July 31st, 2012 ksgall13

After doing a group exercise one morning at POTS, it was interesting to see the amount of similar thoughts, approaches, and backgrounds a lot of the people shared in the particular group I was working with. One of the most important traits that I see in all of my co-workers is selflessness, which is one of the many words that I could easily use to describe the general attitude of the organization as a whole.

One of the coolest things that I’ve been able to do was making a trip to an apartment of a group of clients. When we walked into the main entrance, I was shocked: it looked like a run-down version of a  luxury hotel lobby. The size was large enough to hear an echo if you spoke; yet the entire place had a quirky, solemn ambiance that replaced my initial feeling of ‘wow’ with a more down to earth reality. We spoke briefly (all in Spanish) with the family in the lobby, but then to my surprise, they took us upstairs to talk more in their apartment. Essentially, the tenant-landlord relationship had been on its way downhill due to the landlord’s deteriorating actions. In my opinion, the landlord had made some shady claims about repairs, payments, and charges without much concrete evidence to back anything up. The tenants didn’t want to be cut short by a miscommunication.

We ended up helping the clients, but the best part of the day was their hospitality. The atmosphere was inviting, warm, and fun, despite the urgent housing matter that was being discussed. They even offered us a few bottled soft drinks (I couldn’t say no to the mango flavored one on a hot day like that). What I’m getting to is that the effort we made to help this specific family didn’t go without  acknowledgement. The family was more than appreciative, which reflected on their decision to reciprocate the kindness. It’s refreshing to see that sometimes when you go the extra mile for somebody, they’ll go an extra one for you as well.

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Kevin Gallagher '13

  • Studies: Economics major with a concentration in Latin American and Latino Studies
  • Hometown: Northfield, N.J.
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