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!
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.
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,
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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