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September 3rd, 2013 by Brenna Merrill

How a Hole Punch Becomes a Friend

Catch-Up Post #2

My friend and I wrote this Haiku after I expressed not knowing what to blog about. Sometimes, work is just work and while interesting it may feel as though it does not need to be commented on. Similarly, sometimes you write a haiku and realize you inversed the syllable count. Oops. Drum roll….

“These holes are in the paper.

They exist,

to be bound in a binder.”

What was I doing with paper and a binder, you ask? Well, let me tell you:

As one of my projects in the Fund Development department, I got to make grant books. I made one that is focused on all of the school-year in-house programs (this includes things like Leadership Academy, Basketball League, and Swim Lessons). The second included grants for summer programs, school hosted programs (ie not taking place at the Winthrop House), and general and miscellaneous grants. I then duplicated these binders twice to make a total of three sets.

Emptying the hole punch tray after a day's hard work.

Emptying the hole punch tray after a day’s hard work.

On the most basic level, this means I became friends with the electric hole punch. I could stick in a stack of papers and zoom zoom zoom all se t for the binders! During the one day stint where the AC was not working in the office, I also came to adore the downstairs photocopier (where it was much cooler). Though, to be fair, how could you not love it; it printed fast and never seemed to jam!

Aside from the leg work of assembling these binders, I had the more exciting opportunity to create a cover sheet for each grant funded program that described – among other things – the target audience, the outcomes we are meant to be measuring, and the due dates for the reports.

grant books

The grant books after being compiled. Each section is labeled with a post-it note.

To do so, I skimmed (which often turned into reading) through grant narratives. I learned about gang activity in Worcester and the impact of bullying. I read through grants that focused on sexual health, enhancing a girl’s exposure to STEM, and promoting fitness through a family step-a-thon. I saw how the United Way facilitated different community organizations in coming together to best serve youth throughout Worcester. I discovered so much of the city that I’ve lived in for almost four years, and I have found so much inspiration for impactful community youth work.


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