​ServiceNation, DC, & Airbnb: a Shriver Fellow’s Story

By LIFT on April 8, 2015

Categories: First Person Perspective, Real Stories

Kanye & Paul McCartney. ServiceNation & Airbnb. These two powerful duos while unlikely have recently played a role in improving my recent move to DC.

When I first decided to move from Texas to DC to join LIFT as a Shriver Communications Fellow, I was ecstatic. Initially, I had connected to LIFT after an elevating year with Communities In Schools in Austin mentoring and counseling middle school students. Building relationships with the students’ families, I realized I wanted to play a role in encouraging the parents and the families as a whole. Thus, I was aligned with LIFT. After accepting the Shriver Corps position, I looked forward to forging a place in the community whom I would serve and meeting innovative and compassionate global citizens who were like-minded in their passion about helping others. I knew it would be an inspiring environment and would allow me to forge my own sense of service.

But between the excitement, several sobering questions started to drift into my mind. How I was going to move all my things 1,400 miles to DC? How would I build a network in a new city? And most importantly, where was I going to live? After booking a ticket to Reagan Airport, I hadn’t a clue what to do.   That’s when my boss-to-be, Patience Peabody, connected me with Amy Baker of ServiceNation.

ServiceNation, a long-time advocate of non-profits like LIFT, partnered with Airbnb to provide temporary housing for those relocating in order to serve. ServiceNation and Airbnb ensured that I had a comfortable place to stay until I was able to secure a permanent room for myself. The beauty of the Airbnb accommodation allotted me one crucial benefit: a local host. My gracious host was able to provide me with local input on neighborhoods, intel on popular eateries, travel shortcuts, and support with all things DC. We even shared great conversation and some delicious baking. Suddenly, the city didn’t seem so strange, and I felt right at home.

So, with Kanye playing in my headphones and ServiceNation and Airbnb behind me, I made my journey to DC undaunted. Thanks to ServiceNation, Airbnb, my awesome host, and the LIFT family, relocation was a stress-free process, and I was able to give my focus to my new position at LIFT and exploring this beautiful city.

The Shriver Corps is a once-in-a-generation cohort of AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteers committed to helping people across the United States lift themselves out of poverty for good. The program is a collaboration between LIFT, Maria Shriver’s A Woman’s Nation, and AmeriCorps, and was created to honor the legacy of Sargent Shriver, the founder of the landmark VISTA program.