As most of you know, I’m a Senior Marketing student at The University of Texas-Dallas. In one of the classes I’m taking this semester, a project was assigned to work with a non-profit in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex for North Texas Giving Day. I would be working with Volunteers of America – Texas on building their Social Media presence to promote the event.
Knowing nothing about the organization, I dove right in on researching them. I Googled, I Facebooked, I did a Twitter search, I even went to LinkedIn and sent a connection request to the CEO/President as I had her business card. Realizing early on that they lacked a presence on social networking platforms, I knew my work would be cut out for me. So, I spent a few days reading and researching.
One of the programs that stuck with me was their commitment to programs that offer substance abuse counseling for people after they leave prison. For most, this wouldn’t be a program that they’d relate to but for me, this struck a chord. My dad, who passed away 6 years ago this month, was a substance abuse counselor with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and he gave a lot of his time outside of work as a Spanish-speaking counselor.
What started as a class project now was something more. I had a connection. September is always a hard month for me, I was definitely a daddy’s girl and this project couldn’t have come at a better time. I feel as though it was meant to be….that maybe my dad had a hand in this somehow. Giving my time/knowledge of Social Media to VOA-TX let me have a connection with my dad.
So what started as just a normal, everyday individual class project became personal. It’s times like these where I realize that I can make a difference with my skills and actually help in ways I never thought would actually matter. In that moment, I was giving to something I knew my dad supported himself.
Oh…and by the way, we had a great turnout for North Texas Giving Day…42 donations with over $5000 raised and did I mention that this gets matched! Go check them out, they have branches across the US and support a variety of programs.