Reflections Part 2 – Red Cross – Jo Garrison


Ride for the Red was the first motorcycle ride fundraiser put together by West Central Georgia Red Cross Chapter volunteers.  During this time I was able to get an inside look at how a fundraiser is put together.  Concepts I learnt while taking Organizational Communication was utilized while communicating with the many businesses and organizations to obtain support.  Some of the many parts to putting together a fundraiser were obtaining radio spots, writing PR messages, writing ads to be placed in local newspapers, obtaining permission to place promotional bulletins throughout the community.  It took a lot of work and many hands and minds to make this fundraiser happen and on the day of the event it was amazing to feel that fuzzy feeling deep down to see how worth it everything was.  During the event I took several photos to place on the Shutterfly and Facebook page created by me and wrote a 250-word event wrap-up to be placed in the Red Cross news and event newspaper.  Using skills acquired while taking Dr. Park’s Integrated Web Design to put together flyers to distribute to local schools our intentions were to promote the Summer Youth Program.  I really enjoyed getting youths of the community interested in participating and volunteering in the community.  My time spent working with the Red Cross was well spent emphasizing on my studies with the Department of Communication at Columbus State University.  My advice to future interns is to make every minute of your internship count.  There are so many organizations out there that make a difference and when you add that with the immaculate training and teachings given at Columbus State University you realize the greatness these organizations have to offer come from people like you!

Reflections Part 1 – Red Cross – Jo Garrison


This past semester I have had the pleasure of interning with the American Red Cross, Services to the Armed Forces (SAF) division. My time working with them was an absolute pleasure. When I first started working with SAF I was unsure what to expect. I knew I would be working closely with volunteers who provide the many services of the Red Cross specifically to the military on Fort Benning. My first assignment was to write a donation letter to obtain water and beverages for Red Cross. As a non-profit organization majority of their funding and material come from donations. I was really impressed with the procedure and was unsure of how the process worked. I found Rhetorical Criticism to be very beneficial during this assignment. In the course we are taught the process for writing persuasive documents that came in handy. After requesting from local businesses we received over $200 dollars in gift cards to be used to purchase water and beverages for Red Cross events. One of the events we were able to benefit from these donations was at a local fundraiser put together to help raise awareness in recognition of Red Cross Awareness month.

SYP Presentations – Red Cross – Jo Garrison

This week we will continue to visit the high schools in Columbus, GA.  Our intentions are to inform the students of the Summer Youth Program with the American Red Cross this upcoming summer. I am really looking forward to visiting with Chattahoochee High,

Chattahoochee County High School

and Northside High this week.


Northside asked if we would come out and speak with some of the classes for the entire day. I am really looking forward to doing this because I will be able to brush up on my presentation skills some more. One of the many skills I have enjoyed perfecting during my internship with Ms. Walton at Services to the Armed Forces, Red Cross division on Fort Benning is my ability to efficiently deliver speeches. I have been debating whether or not I should put together a brief power point presentation to use during the classroom presentations.  Even though I have a foldable billboard to use as a visual effect I’m pretty sure all my professors would say I should definitely do so.


Red Cross-Marketing meet Communication-Jo Garrison

As mentioned in previous post for the next couple of weeks I have been tasked with presenting information to youths at the local high schools. We are informing them of the upcoming Summer Youth Program. Recently, while searching for local jobs in the Columbus area, I noticed that a lot of marketing employees hire communication majors as well. I find this information useful because I was able to get the opportunity to see how marketing and communication go hand in hand. I enjoy events and promotions and being at the high schools to hand out information reminded me of my marketing career before switching to communication studies. Interacting with the youth of our community with the intentions to inspire them to do great things is a very exhilarating experience. At the local high schools we were able to collaborate with soldiers who volunteer and showing the youth how much the Red Cross impacts the military has been a great feeling. –Jo Garrison

SYP Hardaway High garrison_jo 2 garrison_jo 3

Northside High School – Red Cross – Jo Garrison

For two weeks I visited with five high schools in the Columbus, GA area.  At four of the high schools during the lunch periods I was able to set up a visual presentation and speak with student as they approached me to inquiry about my presentation.  Doing these presentations, I found which  techniques  do and don’t work when trying to communicate  to a group of people who are not completely focused on the presenter.  Bold colors really catches a person’s attention and promotes the presenter.  Even your stance could either welcome attention or come off as un-approachable.  I found it better to stand and be ready to interact when a person approaches the best way to appear professional when trying to promote yourself, or a product, or in this case a service.

garrison_jo 3

Of the five schools, one of them invited Services to the Armed Forces, to come out and speak to the individual classes for the day.  I was selected to do the classroom presentation and immensely enjoyed the opportunity.  I was able to present to 18, high school, science classes and really felt it was a great opportunity to practice my presentation skills.  When giving the first couple of speeches I felt a little bit nervous but as the day went on I warmed up very quickly. Next thing I knew I was feeling more and more connection with my targeted audience and at the end of the day I was told I received a very high response and level of interest.


At the end of the two weeks I was really grateful to be able to use these opportunities to build my communication skills and am really looking forward to my future as a communication major.


Summer Youth Program-Red Cross-Jo Garrison

Now that I have successfully completed my first behind the scenes look at putting together a fundraiser I will be helping Mrs. Walton set-up this year Summer Youth Program. Every summer the American Red Cross offers a six week program where the teens in the local area can volunteer. This is a great program that not only provide the young adults something proactive to do for the summer but it also gives them a chance to give back to the community. I have set-up times to do lunchroom presentation at every Columbus, GA high school and am looking forward to the next two weeks. I really enjoy getting out in the community and to be a part of helping our youth do amazing things is a wonderful feeling. I have been working on a flyer for us to hand out during the lunchroom presentations. I was able to find a template online that was easy to replicate and, while keeping in mind instructions Dr. Parks taught about designs and layout in Integrated Web Design, I made a few modifications.

Here’s a peak at what I have so far and feel free to tell me what you think.

Red Cross Summer Youth Program flyer

Red Cross Summer Youth Program flyer

March is Red Cross Awareness Month- Jo Garrison

Friday, 21 March, was a successful event put together by Mrs. Walton, SAF Specialist, for the Red Cross.  Service members, retirees, family members, and civilians all came out to learn how the Red Cross helps the local community.  Representatives for Blood Service, Disaster Relief, Volunteer Services, and Health and Safety Classes all came out to collaboratively support the Services to the Armed Forces Specialist.  Seeing the volunteers come from all different areas of the local chapter was a huge inspiration to how much the Red Cross impacts the average American’s life.

SAF Red Cross Awareness Event

Saturday, 22 March, all the volunteers who helped put together Ride for the Red fundraiser was able to see how each little role we played make such a big difference through hard work and determination.  For a second day all the representatives of the local West Central Georgia chapter of the American Red Cross came out to raise money to be donated to the local chapter.  Over 75 motorcycle riders drove over 100 miles in recognition of Red Cross Awareness Month. Taking a scenic drive from the National Infantry Museum to Pine Mountain, Warm Springs and back to the National Infantry Museum the roads of West Central Georgia rumbled as riders drove behind the Red Cross Flag.

R4R Red Cross


For more pictures and information;

Back To Basics – Jo Garrison – American Red Cross

The past week I was able to put to use basic public speaking skills instilled  in me from Communication 1101.  I found myself self-analyzing every emotion and feeling my body was going through when asked to deliver a speech announcing upcoming events American Red Cross would be hosting on and around Fort Benning for the month of March.  Periodically on Fort Benning there is a meeting to keep those living in the community informed about happenings around the post.  When it was my turn I could feel my heart racing and my nerves start to jump, but then I remembered everything I was taught, took a deep breath and I nailed it.

Public Speaking Red Cross

Jo Garrison-Public Speaking-Red Cross

It’s amazing how you do things so many times in life and you never know there is always room to learn more about a subject.  Even though it was not my first time giving a speech to anyone it was my first time knowing the specific of how my body was reacting to the situation and I was able to use those reactions to better deliver my message.  By the end of the speech I felt a huge accomplishment and at that moment I was proud to be a, Columbus State University, Communication major.

R4R Wheels Rolling Forward-Jo Garrison

The old saying, it’s easier said than done,” comes to mind as we prepare for Red Cross Awareness month in March.  When one of the volunteers pitched the idea for us to put together a Poker Run, a voluntary group of motorcycle riders who will be starting from a gathered point and going along a two and a half hour pre-selected scenic route through west central Georgia and returning back to the American Red Cross Fort Benning location where we will provide food and beverages, I couldn’t wait.  I am still immensely excited, and cannot wait for March 22, to see the outcome of our hard-work and dedication.

Putting together a fundraiser requires a lot of communication with different organizations and groups, promotion by using different public relations avenues, and dissemination through mass media.  Last week I was able to complete the rough draft for our poster/flyers and the final editing has been done so we have started promotion and distribution.  I have been working on setting up the Facebook page along with all the other internet avenues.  We intend to have flyers sent out to all on-post and off-post media sources, i.e. newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations such as Benning T.V.  Below you can find the link for our Facebook Organization page that is still a work in-progress but up and ready.

Ride for the Red – Jo Garrison

This week seemed to be very tasking and I really loved every minute of it.  We have been continuing to spread the word about reinstating health and safety courses (PHSS) on Fort Benning at their conveniently located American Red Cross station.  Monday I was able to coordinate with all of the on-post school systems and supply them with information about upcoming PHSS trainings that are available.  When taking Organizational Communication I learned about properly disseminating information through an organization by reading case studies, however this time I felt as if I was the case study.  As most people know you cannot go on to a military post and just start dispersing information without getting approval from the right departments and agencies.  If there is anyone that doesn’t please feel free to ask me because at this point I feel I may just be an expert on this subject.  As we continue to promote the on-post PHSS trainings we are also preparing for Red Awareness Month in March.

First Draft Blog submission

Another volunteer and I are coordinating a Poker Run by asking all bike owners to Ride for the Red.  The concept is fairly simple.  Any bike owner who would like to ride in honor of their local American Red Cross chapter will pay an entry fee and all proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross.  As they ride a predetermined route, bikers will stop at a predetermined location where they can rest and will choose a card in hopes to have the highest poker hand when they return to their starting location.  We are still in the planning phase but I have spent a lot of time working on a rough draft for the flyers and posters and hope this event is a real success. – Jo Garrison