I grew up with a Dad whose mantra is “service is the rent we pay to live on this Earth”, so volunteering and non-for-profits have always been important to me. I was so excited to hear the founder and CEO of Samaritan’s Feet, Emmanuel Ohonme, come speak at Butler University.
In college it is very easy to get wrapped up in yourself and what is going on in your little bubble. When Manny spoke I think he grounded every single college student in that room. He was one of the best speakers I’ve ever heard. His story was phenomenal and so inspiring.
Manny did not own a pair of shoes besides flip-flops until he was 10 years old. He is now running a humanitarian relief organization with the goal of giving a million shoes a year to children who don’t have any.
From Manny’s speech I took away a few key lessons. Manny grew up with hardly anything, but he never lost hope. Even though at times he was discouraged he never gave up. He worked very hard to get where he is today. A lot of us are very fortunate to have the live the lifestyle we do, so it is important to give back. Do you really need all 15 pairs of shoes in your closet when a child in Nigeria doesn’t even have one pair?
I hope to become more involved with Samaritan’s Feet. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is their national day of service. I am planning on participating in a shoe distribution that day. I would also like to go on an international shoe distribution trip before I graduate.
For more information about Samaritan’s Feet social media initiative please visit http://www.barefootforbarefeet.com.
A few weeks ago my boyfriend and I took a road trip to Boston. It was kind of an impromptu trip. I mean we had hotel reservations and such, but Boston was a destination that we just thought would be cool and didn’t really look into very much besides the hotels and how to get there.
So, after a stop in Latham, New York for the night, we woke up pretty early and pulled into Boston around 11:00 a.m. Parking in a parking garage that took us around 20 minutes to find and that was way too expense, we just wanted to go explore, the only problem was we had no idea where anything was.
Standing on a corner about a block away from the parking garage, we both had our smart phones out searching our GPS apps for a way to find the harbor. Just as we were about to cross the street to go to who knows where, a voice behind said, “What are you looking for?” We turn around to find a stout, aging business man in his suit and tie holding his briefcase and presumably on his lunch break. We told him we were looking for the harbor. This is when the amazing part happened. This business man basically recited the cliff notes version of everything we need to know about how to get around the city of Boston and how to do it efficiently because we told him we were only in town for one day. This guy knew everything! He said he was going to write a book about his own version of the Freedom Trail because the original takes too long and had too many zig zags. He knew what ferries to take to get to get to other parts of the city and the most direct routes to everything else worth seeing. He even named a few places for food at the different places he was telling us about. Someone was obviously looking out for my boyfriend and I, two of the probably most inexperienced tourists in Boston, because we ending up having a great time!
Sitting on the ferry on the way back from seeing the U.S.S. Constitution, I was thinking about how it amazing it was to run into that man and how even more amazing it was to hear how much he knew and loved his city. It got me thinking that was pretty much the definition of public relations happening in real life, in person, right in front of me.
PRSA defines public relations as, “Public relations helps and organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other.” That is exactly what that man did for me. He immediately in the quick five to ten minutes we stood on that street corner with him adapted me to the city of Boston. He made me so excited to be in that East Coast town.
My view on this whole situation is that we have to remember that is what we are doing in public relations. By being honest, creative, and personable, we can do our jobs in public relations well. I think every PR firm needs a “my Boston business man” working for their clients.
We’re Rise Innovations, a student-run advertising agency comprised of Butler University PRSSA members. 2010 will be our first year offering services, and we’re excited to get started. Make sure to follow us on twitter (@riseinnovations), and check back often for more updates and blog posts from firm members!