Back in the summer of 2018, I had visited Taller De José as part of a summer service retreat done through my high school. I remember being told about accompaniment and hearing someone speak about what that was. Some of the things that Compañerxs did were things I had done for my parents in the past. As someone who is an immigrant, I had a real appreciation for the services and resources TDJ offered. Taller de José was on my mind, but I never looked more into it.
When I started my undergraduate studies at Dominican University, through one of their Campus Ministry internship programs ‘Ministry en Lo Cotidiano’ the name Taller de José showed up again as one of the partner sites. Although my first two years being part of the program I was not placed with TDJ, friends and colleagues spoke of the impact and growth Taller De José brought to them when they were placed there as their service site. This year I had the chance to finally be placed with Taller de José and see firsthand the work others had talked to me about.
Although I am not a Compañerx and do more of the behind scenes work, I have learned so much about the community, resources, and my colleagues and the work they do. One of my first tasks was to call clients about a turkey giveaway, although it doesn’t seem like a big deal, it was for me and some clients. Specifically, I’m thinking of one client who answered my call, and when I asked if she wanted a turkey she excitingly said “YES” and that ‘yes’ made my day. Even though we were talking over the phone I could feel her joy, relief, and just appreciation, an experience I would not have ever thought I would have over the phone. She was so grateful to me, even though I was not directly supplying her anything. This was a good moment for me because it showed the value and impact the services and resources TDJ offers have on people.
Big or small, there is a difference being made. There is connection and compassion. I think moments like these are overlooked, but as someone who grew up as an immigrant with my parents only speaking little English, it is organizations like Taller de José that play such a key role in bettering the community, in making someone’s day better, or a little easier. It is the dedication, support, understanding, patience, and selflessness of the Compañerxs along with everyone one else that forms this strong and inspiring organization. I am so honored and happy to be here working because everything helps in the overall goal of Taller de José. And it truly has been a blessing to be here and be part of a broader accompaniment of the community.
Written by Paulina Delgadillo (she/her/ella)
Paulina is serving at Taller de José through the Ministry en lo Cotidiano program at Dominican University.