Claire McGuire ’14, Mansfield Foundation Fellow in Community Outreach
This has been an incredible week here in Minneapolis. Work has been absolutely crazy. We are really getting close to the event that I have been planning and we have FINALLY decided on a design and marketing strategy. I had no idea the amount of work, planning, and diplomacy that goes into branding an event like this. There are so many parties to appease and so many changes to be made. I love the final design and although there was plenty of struggle to agree on it, it almost makes me like it more. This is the poster that we sent to the printer today.
Contract negotiations with the musicians, the event venue owner, and the ultimate events rentals have also been a struggle. I think that we are getting it all handled, but I will say that I am never going to go to an event without thinking about how much work and orchestration they take.
We also had a gaggle of fabulous volunteers in the office this last week. It was great to have so many enthusiastic volunteers in the office, it really helps to breathe new life into the organization and helps us to focus on the causes that we are actually working to promote. The volunteers were everywhere stuffing envelopes and sending out flyers for our events. We also had them writing to returning service teams, personal notes are always well received. Some of the volunteers spoke Spanish and we had them translating stories that had been sent to us from El Salvador and Guatemala. We try to send true stories and testimonials to our donors once a month and it was great to have their help with the translations.
Ross and I have been working on Sponsorship for our event and we have had a lot of success. I drafted up a Sponsorship framework and Ross (another intern) has really been able to run with it. He has gotten one private donor and is currently in a meeting with another business executive at Wells Fargo. I have also been working on prepping for the Raffle that we are going to have at the event and we have been able to reel in some pretty fabulous prizes including tickets to the Guthrie Theatre, dance lessons, personal training sessions, facials, and messages. I will certainly be buying a few raffle tickets at the event.
The Interdenominational Abolitionist Network was kind enough to invite ITEMP to come speak at their monthly meeting and our director sent Rebecca and I to give a presentation to this group of passionate and caring crusaders. It was incredible. They were very receptive to what we had to say, I got to speak all about the legislation and language of human trafficking and after the presentation they were all excited to volunteer and help the cause. They also asked us to speak and bring information about our organization to an outdoor concert that they were putting on August 3rd. It will be great to get our name out there in such a big way because we are still so new to the area.
On a personal front, I’m still loving Minneapolis. I bought a new bike (mine was stolen) and have been exploring the incredible labyrinth of biking trails, paths and lanes that Minneapolis has to offer. I can’t help but think that our country, our environment and our mental state would be much improved if we all biked everywhere.