Small donation makes a big impression

Before the Winter Olympics began, the story that had everyone talking was Haiti. Since a devastating earthquake hit the country mid-January, support has been pouring in from all across the world. For instance, relief funds have been raised through campaigns such as Hope for Haiti, a charity telethon that was held on January 22nd. Even in a terrible economy, the country has been doing its best to help.

And it seems as if everyone has been lending a hand, including a few homeless people in a downtown Baltimore shelter who gave $14.64 from their pockets to help the earthquake victims. After reading this story on the Baltimore Sun website, titled City homeless donate $14.64 for quake victims, I thought to myself, “what a great PR story.” As Linnea Anderson, the public relations director of American Red Cross in Central Maryland, said, it was a “remarkable example of the human spirit.”

If that story doesn’t hug at your heartstrings, I don’t know what will. It’s a story that encourages you to take action. And as any public relations professional, isn’t that ultimately what you want from society? For them to care about your cause? In this economy, many people might say they don’t have the money or time to help. But this modest donation spreads the message that just a little bit can make a big difference.

All in all, I thought this story was an excellent way to encourage people to take action and further help the people of Haiti by having people donate to American Red Cross. As Mayor Sheila Dixon put it, “If those with so little to give do so, what is our excuse not to?”

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5 Responses to Small donation makes a big impression

  1. a_hundza says:

    I really enjoyed reading your post. I was happy to see a post that differed from the others. You included a current event taking over media, a great story and how it incorporates into our world of P.R.

    Too often I think we forget that we do originally start out desiring a career in P.R. to evoke change/inspire others, and all too often we lose sight of that. If more people remembered where their passion for the business came from we’d have far less issues.

    Thanks for a thought provoking read!

  2. jalbaz says:

    This is a part of PR we often forget about because either there are too many other things to be concerned about, or people relate positive stories such as this with a set-up done in order to up someone’s image, or a company’s support. I think it is important for PR professionals to have skillsthat also utilize positive occurences (not staged or fake ones) not just fixing negative ones. I hope this story can inspire others and also remind us PR majors to leran how to take a small positive occurence and spread it.

  3. hmick says:

    I loved reading this blog entry. My only reason for studying public relations was in hope of creating a better, more understanding society in which I find myself struggling to do. I think that people don’t often hear the good side of people and are only constantly hearing about the killings and robberies in our nation. I truly believe that working for a company that you can put your heart into 100% is what will make our industry better. Finding that company may be the hardest part. I always fall back on my favorite ethical concept made famous by Archbishop Desmond Tutu called Ubuntu- which entails that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation and that we are connected to one another in some way. THIS is what I want to be known for and bring along with me once I start my work in the PR world.

    • srugeris says:

      Hmick, I agree with your post. It’s important to work for a cause, campaign, corporation or agency that you believe lines up with your own ideals. There can be a lot of corruption in our industry because of temptations like greed and power. Many people perceive this world to revolve around money. We read a case study in class the other week about one of the top PR firms in the nation misappropriating funds with their multi-million dollar client. If the best public relations practitioners in our field fall into unethical situations from time to time, we must all be conscious that it can be possible for people disconnect them from the workplace and leave their morals to the side. It is no wonder that the term Spin Doctors has been around since the days since Edward Bernays. It felt good to read the story about the homeless people giving all they had to help those they probably felt an emotional connection to. Their story could have caused others in the community to donate and positivity breeds more positivity. The story reminded me of the parable of the widow’s offering from The Bible.

      Mark 12 verses 41 to 44 says
      “Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.
      Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.’”

  4. dsmith says:

    This truly is a humanitarian story. My favorite part of the article is how the group of homeless people that gathered the money did not put their names on the envelope. In a society so driven by publicity and fame and getting your brand out there, this selfless act is rare to say the least. Among all the negative things in the news right now– Toyota’s recalls, Haiti, the economy– this story is positive and refreshing. It also makes us think twice about our finances. If a group of people with no homes can scrape together $14.64 to donate to others in need, then we have no excuse.

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