Articles by: Hannah Kusper
Amanda Gorman, the first U.S. youth poet laureate, opened the 2017 Social Good Summit with a powerful poem that included an inspiring message: “Here, in this great gathering, we do good so that the world might be great.”
Her quote perfectly sums up the mission of the Social Good Summit, an annual event held in New York City during the United Nations General Assembly week. The summit brings global and community leaders together to create innovative solutions to world problems. Passionate activists foster vital conversations to unlock fresh ideas on how to combine new media and technology to improve the lives of people around the world.
I had the opportunity to attend the Summit this year and hear world leaders discuss the progress being made to solve pressing issues, including global warming, education, refugees, violence and healthcare. Global citizens and activists focused conversations on the advancements needed to make the world a better place by 2030. Being a social activist, I was excited to engage in such powerful conversations with passionate individuals who are making a large scale impact.
One of the most inspirational speeches I heard was from two volunteers of the Syrian White Helmets, Khaled Khatib and Mounir Mustafa. The White Helmets consists of nearly 3,000 volunteers, both men, and women, who risk their lives every day to save citizens affected by barrel bombs in the war-torn nation of Syria. The organization has lost 200 volunteers since 2013 amid rescue attempts but has saved nearly 99,000 Syrian civilians. The White Helmets released an Oscar-winning documentary on Netflix last year, which provides an inside look at the devastating reality of Syria. You can watch the moving trailer for the film on YouTube.
I also had the opportunity to meet Yulu PR Founder Melissa Orozco, who Team Prosper has been working with to promote Impact Relations, the newest sector of PR based on sharing stories to help organizations create positive social or environmental impact.
Overall, the Social Good Summit ignited a passion inside everyone who attended to follow the Global Goals to make #2030NOW. Now is the time for organizations and activists to create purpose-driven dialogue to solve international problems. Feeling inspired? Check out the recorded conversations from this year’s Summit to learn more about joining the world together.
“If you’re running a business that’s not considering the impact that you have on the environment and society or the impact that those things have upon your business, then you’re not operating a business that’s really going to be in existence in the future.” This quote by Kate Wallace, New Belgium Brewing’s assistant director of sustainability, speaks volumes to the mission of Impact Relations, the newest evolution of public relations.
Prosper for Purpose has been working with Yulu Public Relations, a fellow B Corporation, and strategic PR agency, to launch Impact Relations as its own industry. Both agencies are on a mission to showcase organizations who are striving to make a difference. Impact Relations focuses on sharing powerful stories from organizations and individuals to create positive social or environmental impact.
Impact Relations was founded on transparency to create a positive shift in the way businesses and agencies operate. Impact Relations was started in 2011 by Melissa Orozco, founder and creative director of Yulu, with the idea to use PR as a force for good.
When asked about the creation of Impact Relations, Melissa stated, “The original inspiration for Impact Relations was the emergence of Impact Investing from its industry roots of investment banking. Seeing the social and environmental impact become increasingly scalable, and possibilities widen once the discipline of Impact Investing was founded, we wanted to build a similar value-aligned industry within our field of PR. And Impact Relations was born.”
Melissa went on to explain the passion behind the creation of Impact Relations from both her team and Prosper for Purpose. “We are a group of skilled communicators who are committed to challenging our industry’s status quo. In fact, we’re so passionate about the type of PR we do, that we felt it needed a new name. So in our shoot-for-the-moon fashion, we’re creating a new industry for the type of PR we do. We call our expertise and service “Impact Relations,” a new industry that’s emerged from public relations, which leads and inspires by example. Impact Relations is a discipline defined by authentic, resonant communications strategies that help businesses be better, perform better, communicate better, and lead better, to make a positive environmental, governance, and social impact.”
One great example of Impact Relations is Yulu’s World Housing project. Inspired by TOMS Shoes’ One for One business model, World Housing created a similar model for real estate. For every home sold, World Housing constructed a home for a family in a developing world community. Yulu helped bring this story to life by reaching media outlets and creating a video showcasing the inspiration behind the project.
We are excited to be working with Yulu to create this new sector of public relations. Please help us spread the word about Impact Relations by engaging on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you believe your organization is practicing Impact Relations and you want to make a positive difference in PR — share your story!
Summer is officially in full swing and there’s no better time of the year to clean out your closet, basement or extra storage spaces to organize your home. Donating your gently used clothing, food, toys, and other supplies is a sustainable way to get rid of extra items without throwing them away. However, donating the right items to places where people in need will actually receive them is vital. Below is a list of ways you can make a difference when it comes to donating your items.
- Research before you donate to make sure your items will go to people in need. Check out this list of where to donate everything in your home from A-Z.
- Separate toiletry items from food items to avoid the food tasting like soap or other strongly scented products.
- Wash your clothes before donating them for a better chance that they will actually be worn. Also, be considerate of what you are donating by making sure the clothing is in decent shape.
- Find a suitable drop-off location for your donations. Some good options are Goodwill, Salvation Army, Greater Cleveland Food Bank, Dress for Success, The City Mission, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, homeless shelters and churches.
- Take the time to have a conversation with the people you are donating to if you meet them. Just taking the time to hear their story will make a big difference in both of your lives.
- Forget to ask what is needed before you give, especially when it comes to donating food. Choose non-damaged packaging, non-expired food and nutritious options to give.
- Include soap, shampoo and conditioner when donating to the homeless. Switch out those items for baby wipes instead.
- Send snacks such as sticky and sweet breakfast bars since the receiver may not have access to dental care. Instead, donate snacks such as applesauce, pudding cups, trail mix and beef jerky.
- Donate to clothing bins found in gas station or store parking lots. Often times, these boxes are a scam as donations are often resold for profit instead of reaching the right people.
- Think of donating as a one-time deal. Continue to donate your gently used items by putting reminders on your calendar to keep you on track.
Donating is a great way to get rid of extra items in your house without feeling the guilt of throwing them away. Many people are in need of food, clothing and toys so it is important your donations actually reach them.
The Prosper for Purpose team became intrigued by local entrepreneur Andrew Bennett after learning how he set out to address the gap between individuals and experts with the knowledge they needed. So, Margot and Hannah sat down with Andrew to hear how this passionate young entrepreneur followed his vision to connect people and, ultimately, spread knowledge.
“I wanted to start something that every single person in any organization could be attracted to in order to gain new skills and expertise,” the co-creator of KnowledgePost told Team Prosper earlier last month.
Andrew started KnowledgePost in 2014 after realizing “there was a major disconnect between those in need of professional expertise and those who can provide it.” On KnowledgePost, users match with experts who offer services such as career coaching, consulting and mentoring, to name a few.
Andrew is a firm believer that everyone has a specific skillset that can increase others’ understanding. KnowlegePost opens the door to learning opportunities by connecting professionals and companies who will make a direct impact by sharing expertise with each other.
He loves being able to make a difference in so many lives by linking people with those who offer the services they need. Before he started KnowledgePost, Andrew was involved in Engage Cleveland where he saw nearly ten thousand young professionals in Cleveland with missed opportunities to enhance their futures.
Even though Andrew is an independent entrepreneur, his main advice for recent graduates and young professionals is to surround yourself with mentors from different disciplines. He reiterated how imperative it is to follow your true passion, as he did — the rest will fall into place. Andrew sees KnowledgePost becoming a tool that users can engage with to build strategic partnerships and relationships.
Andrew is from Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Elon University in 2008 with a degree in marketing. He has an older brother and older sister. In his free time, Andrew enjoys traveling with his girlfriend Nora.
You can get started with KnowledgePost today — connect with the experts and opportunities you’re seeking.
My passion for purpose began the day I met one of the Lost Boys of Sudan – Majier Mamer Deng, otherwise known as Nico. I met him nearly ten years ago through Cuyahoga Valley Church as he was sharing his heartbreaking yet inspiring story of surviving the Second Sudanese Civil War that broke out in the 1980s.
During the war, the Sudanese government turned against Sudanese villagers, displacing thousands of boys and girls. At the time, Nico was just nine years old and was forced to walk hundreds of miles in the scorching heat facing dehydration, starvation, wild animals, and an armed militia.
Thousands of young boys lost their lives on what felt like never-ending walks to different refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia. When the children finally made it to the camps, they stayed there for years living off small rations. Nico desired to become educated and stop civil wars from happening in his country. He was chosen by the United Nations Refugee Agency to be resettled in America during the early 2000s to gain a higher education. He achieved his goal and touched thousands of people with his unforgettable story along the way.
After meeting Nico, he quickly became a member of my family as we did anything we could to share his story and change the lives of others. My family fundraised for Nico to see his mother in Sudan after 21 years of being separated. We helped speak to schools across Northeast Ohio to share his story. We even took him on his first-ever vacation at the age of 30. He changed my perspective on life and inspired me to always share motivational stories that had the potential to change people’s lives forever. I didn’t even know it at the time, but I was falling in love with public relations and storytelling at a young age thanks to the time I spent with Nico.
From my experience with the Lost Boys of Sudan, I knew I wanted to combine my passions of storytelling and philanthropy into a career. I spent an incredible four years studying strategic communication, marketing and social media at Ohio University. Now, I am actually living my dream of working to make a difference. Thanks to my internship at Prosper for Purpose I’m helping some amazing organizations, including the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and 1% for the Planet.
My story has come full circle and I am beyond excited to see what is in store for me at Prosper this summer!