For the end of our Capstone class, we’ve been asked to document all of the ways in which we contributed to the Upstate Homeless Coalition of South Carolina. I can honestly say that I’ve put more heart and soul into this project and class then I have in any other class of my four years at Clemson University.
My experience with this class started out a semester before the actual class met for the first time. I, along with 4 of my classmates, met with Dr. David Novak in December to discuss the class and possible ways that we could help the Upstate Homeless Coalition. Ideas were thrown around and possible ways to organize groups was also discussed. Over Christmas break, I researched the UHCSC by joining their Facebook group, looking at their Web site, and signing up for their free newsletter. I noticed that the UHCSC puts on an annual ball every February to help raise money.
Once our class met on January 7, 2010, it seemed as though everyone was ready to get to business. We read the book on homelessness and communication called, “Who Is My Neighbor” by Phillip Tompkins and reflected on Tomkin’s experiences with homeless people and shelters. We also talked about the Bridesmaid’s Ball and received the contact information for the volunteer chair. I immediately invited my friends to volunteer with me and sent the names to Annette at the UHCSC. I also was able to get Toussaint Law Firm (the firm where I intern) to donate tickets to the circus for the Bridesmaid’s Ball silent auction. At the auction, my friends and I helped with the silent auction along with adding fun moves to the dance floor!
In my social media group, I took over the UHCSC Twitter account along with Lauren Patterson. We tweeted daily during the week about upcoming events, interesting facts about homelessness, and news about the UHCSC. I wrote the “How-To” guide for Twitter for whoever takes over the project at the Upstate Homeless Coalition. The guide included how to log on to Twitter, post, and different aspects that will help raise awareness of the UHCSC.
I also helped Beckman Perry with the UHCSC blog. I uploaded a post once a week to help build the blog. I helped promote the blog through the Twitter account.
During the fundraising week, I ate at several targeted restaurants to raise money for the UHCSC. I bought a Battle of the Bands t-shirt and attended the Battle of the Bands event at 356. I brought along a few friends and gave them stickers to wear for the event.
I truly think have enjoyed the time that I’ve spent working and helping the Upstate Homeless Coalition this semester. I feel so blessed to have been part of this awesome project.