Michelle Hannigan Winter 2017 Blog

By Michelle Hannigan, March 22, 2017

This term I was in Capstone and our team was a bit different from the other teams. We choose to do an industry challenge, where we worked with a non-profit organization called Volunteers of America-IL. This organization serves and assists not only vets, but seniors and children as well. Through our challenge, we had the pleasure of working with Bridget Hickey to devise our goals and make our plan.

Our Industry Challenge was to raise awareness among millennials by designing a marketing campaign that would attract their attention and interest to specifically helping Illinois Veterans. We were then tasked with having an event that showcased this campaign as well as present our efforts at capstone! Let me tell you, IT WAS A LOT OF WORK!  As a team, we created the campaign, planned the event, executed letters of intent, tracked registration and then stayed within a budget! We are very proud of our accomplishments!!

As we said, the challenges for our team was to create a campaign to raise awareness among millennials…but we went beyond that to also try to bridge an introduction with a sponsor that could become a long term relationship, sign up at least 10 volunteers and raise funds that directly helps Illinois veterans become more sustainable. We created Operation Love A Vet as our campaign to spread some much needed love not only to the vets, but around Kendall’s campus as well!

Knowing we were going to launch in the month of February, we realized we could use the whole month to drum up awareness and raise those funds! We posted DID YOU KNOW facts all month about what a veteran is and how they are celebrated in different countries, we also started to introduce VOA-IL to the campus. We then built a structure out of the word LOVE. Thanks to our joint alliances with our friendly neighbor Canada, our structure was hand built there! We knew that VOA-IL has 4 houses that assist the various needs of vets and their families, so we decided we would fill this structure up with ribbons of inspirational messages and give one letter to each house. We then sold ribbons and raffle tickets for the donations we received from businesses and organizations in the Chicago area and raffled it off at our event.

It took a ton of effort, but we were able to secure an amazing musical duo from Columbia College to sing throughout the event and we also had Dave, a Native American Indian drummer who drummed specifically for the vets. Not to mention our guest speaker, Marshall Galbreath who shared his story of homelessness to success. Donations of food and raffle prizes made our event complete and set us over the top with the funds raised.

We sent out a Letter of Intent to Ed Bogden, Delegate of Painters Union District Council 14. In response of not only making a sponsorship donation, Ed Bogden attended our event and met with our client representative of Volunteers of America of Illinois to seek a long-term partnership between the two organizations. In being able to help provide Veterans with jobs through their Painters and Allied Trades Apprenticeship program.

Our projected goal for fund raising was $1,500. Estimating to receive a $1000 in sponsorship funds and $500 in ribbon and raffle sales. We were able to meet our goal and go little above. We received $700 in sponsorships and $813 in sales. Giving us a grand total of $1,513. So very proud of our hard work!!

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