This week our class got to go on a radio show at Salem Communications near downtown Tampa! It was an 1 hour public affairs show that will be broadcast through 4 radio stations; WTBN (Tampa’s Christian Talk) on 570 and 910 am, talk radio 860 am WGUL, and WLSS news talk 930 (serving Sarasota) this coming Sunday. I had never been to a radio station before and it was very interesting getting to see how they do it there. Our radio host was Shayna Lance, and she was the one who got us this opportunity and was very kind in giving us advice about how to get more publicity. While there, I briefly got to meet a young girl, Melody Geiger, who is the charity’s youngest volunteer at only eight years old! It was rather inspiring to see the passion such a young person here in the United States can have for a cause that must be so intangible to someone of such a young age.
The advice our radio host gave us in the studio actually gave me a lot to think about. For the past couple weeks I have been in contact with members of the Honors College Student council, trying to see if an event could be organized to raise money for our shipping fund, but things have been slow, and Shayna’s advice to pester our contacts to acquiesce to helping us has really hit home. The Honors Council, it turns out, is not actually allowed to do a fundraiser for money. But they can still help me with one without actually officially supporting it, and they could also possibly help with just doing a school supply drive. But I have to keep emailing them and seeing them to stay in the loop for what they have decided and what they are allowed to do to help.
I have also talked to a service oriented fraternity on campus, Theta Chi. One of my close friends is the Community Service Co-Chair, and he has arranged for me to speak at their next chapter meeting on Sunday evening to see about doing a fundraiser and setting up donation boxes for the school supply drives. Because I have close friends to help me, I think things will move much quicker towards actually getting something set up with the fraternity!
Another idea I had to help is to try to set up a donation box and school supply drive at my local church. I go to St. Paul’s Catholic Church, and I am still friends with the people who organize the youth group there, so I have gotten back in contact with them to see how seen we can set up the donation and school supply box. And if we can do this for my church, I figure I can talk to some of the other local churches as well. After all, if Greg Mortenson when he was a nurse living in the back of his car can get a foundation started and build over 180 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and an 8-year-old girl like Melody, who has probably only recently formed the concepts of what the rest of the world must be like, can go on the radio and get people excited about our charity, I should be able to do just as much!