Prologue: Meredith DeLeeuw

My Memphis journey is a long and winding road that started last November. My husband was in the middle of interview season for his internal medicine residency when he received an invitation to interview at UT Memphis. I had never been to Memphis, so I figured it would be a fun trip to join him and explore a new city. We were only here for 24 hours, but somehow this city had already found a place in my heart. Fast forward to March of this year, where I found myself in a room full of 4th year medical students counting down the seconds until they opened the envelope that held their future. We were filled with nerves and excitement of new beginnings. We opened his envelope together and both saw UT Memphis at the same time. I didn’t know whether to be absolutely thrilled that we matched where I was hoping we would or scared to death about moving away from Texas, our families, and friends. Texas has always been home to me, so moving to another state was daunting. A couple months ago, we finally made the big move to the Mid-South. I cannot begin to describe the generosity and kindness we have experienced so far! Everyone genuinely wants to make Memphis better. It is so inspiring! Memphians are truly one of a kind.

In late July, I went home to see my mom, and on the flight back I met one of the sweetest people I have ever had the pleasure to know. We started talking about how I am currently looking for a job in Memphis, especially one that would allow me to give back to my new community. She mentioned Volunteer Odyssey as a way to get started giving back to Memphis and potentially find the job I’ve been dreaming about. After meeting with Sarah, I knew that this was the perfect opportunity for me to give back and learn more about Memphis in the process.

I will be volunteering with 8 different organizations over the next week and blogging about my experiences with each. I hope that my blog inspires you to get involved with one of these great organizations! I cannot wait to get started giving back to the community that has already been more generous than I could have ever imagined!