My first assignment for my service-learning project was to run an unit of the web pages for Student Affairs. I took half of the departments, around 15 web pages, while Cora took the other half. I created a Google Sheet to keep everything organized. I commented on what improvements could be done to make the page more user-friendly.
Throughout the semester, I also attended weekly meetings for the Hunger Awareness and Food Insecurity Banquet to gain experience in event planning. The event was a culmination of efforts from several classes on campus: sociology, public health, and business, and served as a fundraiser for the Food Recovery Network and Food Security initiatives. Each class was responsible for something different. Their work was done inside the classroom and would be presented on the evening of the event. My work was usually completed at home, since Jessica did not have a permanent office until the end of the semester. This is the night I worked on a news tip and press release to send to FresnoStateNews.com. It was my first experience writing a press release and not too many edits were necessary.
Every detail was planned out carefully by Jessica and the planning committee for the event. Jessica allowed both Cora and I to share our input in creating the invitation and designing registration forms. Our attendance goal was 200 people. Each ticket was sold for $20. The challenge was deciding what food we would serve at the banquet. It was a hunger simulation, after all, but we didn’t want people coming to the event leaving hungry. Because our event was on campus, we had to go through University Catering unless we had a waiver permitting otherwise. Catering was quite pricey and we needed to decide what would be a reasonable food secure meal and a food insecure meal, a 7 to 3 ratio per 10 people at table.
We also sent out donation letters for desserts in addition to items to be sold at a silent auction. We received 200 individually wrapped fudge brownies from The Brownie Baker and 200 packages of “Thanks-A-Lot” Girl Scout cookies. It was a fantastic donation!
The invitations were sent out before spring break, almost a month before the event, so we were a little disappointed when only a handful of people had sent in their RSVP three weeks before the event. Another volunteer and I decided to come in to Jessica’s new office (yay!) to call the invited guests. I left a lot of voicemails that morning! It must have worked because in the next week and a half, we had nearly eight full tables of patrons.