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Zakaria Chakrani ’18 builds website for Abraham House, enhancing donation potential

By Upstate Institute on September 16, 2017
Zakaria Chakrani '18 posing next to Abraham House sign

Zakaria Chakrani ’18 at Abraham House

This summer I had the opportunity to intern with the Abraham House in Utica, New York. The organization’s mission is to offer the terminally ill a secure and loving home, free of charge, while providing them physical, emotional, and spiritual support. The Abraham House partners with Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc. to provide their guests a variety of services, including oversight, comprehensive medical care plans, social workers, and bereavement services. The organization continually strives to provide both  compassion and the comfort of a surrogate family to every individual in their care, as well as their families.

My project was to develop a website for the Abraham House and manage their various social media platforms. The finished website allows Abraham House to increase community outreach and gain community support. Most importantly, it allows families to learn about their hospice care services. The Abraham House is supported by national, local, and family foundations, in addition to businesses and individual donors. As part of the website I developed a donation page to provide an easy and convenient way for people to donate to Abraham House, while simultaneously advertising ways individuals can get involved by volunteering. The second half of my internship consisted of helping the organization set up a vintage boutique known as The Bird’s Nest. In an effort to diversify revenue, the Abraham House converted their unused property space, generously donated by Dr. And Mrs. A. L. Shaheen, into the Bird’s Nest, which is filled with donations in excellent condition and sold at affordable prices. The funds raised from The Bird’s Nest help diversify revenue and create a sustainable source of income in hopes of achieving future endeavors.

This opportunity has not only exposed me to the diverse community of Utica, but has allowed me to help serve the community. As a molecular biology major and pre-med student, my work at Abraham House has pushed me outside of my comfort zone. Through this experience I have gained the skills necessary to develop a website, manage social media platforms to solidify the public image of Abraham House, and gain insight in strategies to diversify revenue, while simultaneously learning the ins and outs of non-profits. I have also been fortunate enough to experience a different side of healthcare, one that is more intimate and community-based as opposed to large hospitals and healthcare networks that are less-personal, as well as the administrative side of the organization that allows it to continually serve its community. My experience has been memorable and it is my hope that my work will continue to benefit Abraham House long after my internship is over.

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