Seven years ago, I graduated from the University of Mississippi with a degree in print journalism with an emphasis in public relations. I had just completed an internship at the Lafayette County Literacy Council, where I had created a brochure, written award-winning copy for PSAs and helped plan their first fundraiser. Over the course of the internship, a lightbulb had gone off in my head. I loved helping people, and I had a real passion for the nonprofit world. Finding that perfect job was a different story. After three months of intense searching (and lots of crying that I would never find a job), I landed a job at a Memphis-based advertising agency. While it didn't sound like a great fit at first, my first clients were nonprofits. I was back in my element. A year and a half later, the agency began cost-cutting measures, and my position was eliminated. This happened two weeks before Jonathan and I tied the knot (yes, more crying ensued). I was devastated at first, but two weeks after our honeymoon, I had an interview for a communications and event coordinator position at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis. Although they didn't write the job description for me, it was my dream job and a perfect fit for my qualifications and personality. Before I knew it, I was supporting a wonderful cause, working with incredible staff members and volunteers and doing what I loved. The team praised my work -- photography, writing, graphic design, event planning and youth mentoring, while also encouraging me push my creative limits and set higher goals for myself. Four years later, I left my job having gained so much both personally and professionally. It was a truly life-changing experience, one I knew I would carry with me for the rest of my life.
When Jonathan and I started talking about Gerald & Joan, we knew charitable work would tie into our mission in some way. While our work schedule is always subject to change, we are currently welcoming projects that allow us to touch the work that has been such an important part of our lives for so many years.
For our first in-kind project, we created a flyer for a Peer Power volunteer who was organizing a jump roping contest at an area school:
She had limited photos and a short turnaround time, but she was really happy with the results. Better yet, the event was a huge success!
Our top areas of expertise are branding, graphic design (marketing materials, posters, invitations, stationery, signage and t-shirts), writing/editing content for print or web, and event planning. If you know of an organization who could benefit from our support, please share this post with them. We'd love to help if we can!