PR, Social Media, and Everything in Between

Archive for January, 2012

AOII Makes Her Day

This past Saturday my sorority sisters and I helped clean the home a  VISTE client. Nancy Lanterman has been confined to a walker and motorized chair for a number years and hasn’t been able to clean her home since her husband passed away. Piled under years of clothes, dust, and dirt, Ms. Lanterman didn’t even know where to start.

I met Ms. Lanterman on a visit to deliver her commodities, and she was embarrassed by the sight of her home. She told me she was too prideful to ask for help in the past, but when Ashley suggested coming out to cleanup she welcomed us with open arms.

With the help of more than 10 other women, we scrubbed, polished, and organized Ms. Lanterman’s home and improved the living conditions significantly. My sister Tricia pointed out to me afterwards that more than half of our sisters stayed longer than we had orginally agreed upon. They wanted to make sure everything was done before we left.

On Monday, I called Ms. Lanterman about the project to get a quote for a press release about the event. Ms. Lanterman said, “I’m so relieved. There’s a lot that has to be done yet, but I’m going to go through it. I’m so pleased and thankful for all the help.”

Everyone loved helping sweet Ms. Lanterman, and we enjoyed spending time with each other. A lot of times, we as Greeks lose touch with who we are helping because we don’t see them in person. This project gave us the chance to meet the person we were helping. We knew we were making an small but powerful impact on her life. I’m incredibly proud to be a member of Alpha Omicron Pi, and I love my internship at VISTE.


What’s Happening Next at VISTE

Well my first two weeks are done, and I’m excited for what’s in store. I have plans to add more posts about my internship, and I wanted to share them and get ideas from you.

This Saturday I’m volunteering with my sisters from Alpha Omicron Pi to clean a house of a woman confined to a wheel chair. I’ll write all about the event and include lots of photos.

Earlier this week, I met Julia on a home visit. She is wonderful client who suffers from dementia. Julia worked in television before colleges offered degrees in television. She’s going to tell me about her career when TV was new. Expect that interview soon. Do you have any particular questions for her?

VISTE Ball is going on next Saturday, so I’ll be writing all about that event and posting tons of pictures as well.

Now for my questions to you… What would you like to know about my internship? Do you have any ideas for future blog posts? What would you like to know about working for a non-profit?

Thanks for reading!

Delivering the Goods

The first week at my new internship at VISTE is complete. I had a fantastic week of planning events, meeting clients, and the ever so challenging data entry. The highlight of my week was meeting and talking to clients.

Soup Can

"Soup Can" by stevendepolo

On Tuesday, Ashley Miller and I delivered commodities to seven clients. Commodities are the basic needs for survival and includes food staples, frozen meat, bread, and on rare occasions fresh produce. I met a range of clients: those with cleans home and those without, those who could drive and those who could not, those who lived with spouse/child and those who lived with a pet for their only company.

The one thing that stuck out in my mind was how grateful everyone single client is. The thanks was overwhelming. I got back to the office with a sense of enlightenment. One client, an elderly woman, was in tears when she discovered we walked into her home while she was sleeping to deliver food. You see her home has been neglected for some time because she can’t clean it when she’s stuck in a chair. Ashley and I have a plan to get home cleaned up. No one she cry because they’re ashamed of the way their house looks.

Since I saw her tears, I’ve made an effort to listen. To listen to what people around me are saying. To listen for silent tears we weep as our pride keeps everything inside. And hopefully if I listen I’ll be able to create the change I want to see in the world.

The Coolest PR Internship Out There

This week I start the cool PR internship out there. I don’t make this statement lightly. I know there are a variety of agencies and corporations of all sizes that have outstanding internship programs. Likewise, I’m there are also a growing number of non-profits that have outstanding programs.

However, I’m secure in my knowledge that I have found by far the coolest and most rewarding internship to be had in a 100 mile radius of Lakeland, …and dare I say it… in the whole country!

So why is my internship the coolest?

Holding hands

"aliment" by alkaline mouse

1. I work for VISTE (volunteer in service to the elderly), and their misson is to allow people over 65 to live safe and independent in their homes. On my first day at work, I met countless volunteers and heard from clients who spoke about the amazing things VISTE is doing for them. Simple things like bringing a 70 year old man a hot meal because he can’t stand long enough t cook for himself. I work at organization that makes a difference in people’s lives.

2. My internship supervisor is invested in my future. From the day she hired me, Ashley Miller (the volunteer coordinator for VISTE) has been a rock star. She’s curious about my life, my growth as a professional, and ensuring that I have a good experience at VISTE. Ashley is everything you want from an internship supervisor. Flawless she’s not, but she’s pretty dang cool.

3. Because I work at organization that makes a difference in people lives, I know that what I’m doing makes an impact t00 I’m not sending out a press release so someone somewhere can have a little glory. Part of working at a non-profit means that every dollar we make goes back into helping the elderly. My coworkers share this knowledge of empowerment, and together we create a warm environment. You can’t walk down the hall without having someone say hello.

For those three reasons and more, I have the coolest internship this semester!

Fat Kids Ask Why

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Strong4Life campaign features obese children uncomfortable with their weight.  The ads feature obses children with headlines such as “WARNING: It’s hard to be  a little girl when you’re not.”

At first glance, these ads are shocking, and I wonder if they can actually work. What would the ads do to a child’s self esteem? According to an NPR article, critics warns that children who felt uncomfortable with their weight are less likely to engage in social activities with their peers, like playing outside.

But the point of these ads aren’t to scare kids, but rather their parents. In the TV spot, a child asks “Mom, why am I fat?”

The scare tactics reinforce a sense of alarm among viewers, which I think could be effective. The state of Georgia did their research and found that 75% of parents deny that their kids have a problem. Do you respond to scare tactics in ad campaigns?

The growing amount of criticism surrounding the ads could cause serious problems for the campaign. Most parents genuinely care about their children, and I hope they care enough to curb poor diet habits as well.

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