Inspired by National Volunteer Week this year, Fresno State’s advanced public relations students are preparing to kickoff their “iCAN: fight hunger” campaign.
The campaign is launching today until Friday, April 17. The campaign not only focuses on raising as much food and money as possible, but its mission is to raise awareness for The Salvation Army among the Fresno State community.
Public relations major Janeen Walter is one student who is heavily involved in the campaign.
“Recently, our city was named the hunger capital of the nation,” Walter said. “People need to know that what we are doing is important to them, and is crucial to people who are struggling in our community.”
Not only will there be donation bins collecting monetary and canned food donations throughout the Fresno State campus, but there will also be a “text to donate” component. Anyone can text “ICAN” to 8088 to donate $5 to The Salvation Army.
“Our society thrives on competition,” public relations major Mia Munoz said. “By implementing a competition we are creating a fun and more exciting way for students to get involved with their community.”
These competitions will be mainly located in areas such as the dorms and at several academic departments throughout campus.
The “text to donate” element is also a new tactic that the students are utilizing. Not only does it provide a convenient and inexpensive way to donate, it is also beneficial because it allows people from the Fresno community to get involved in the campaign without physically being on campus.
“The students have exceeded my expectations,” Betsy Hays, professor of the advanced public relations course, said. “There is so much passion and love that has been put into this project, and the students are all working very hard.”
The advanced public relations students have not only been promoting the campaign for the last couple of weeks, but they have been working on the project throughout the semester.
Although the timing may be coincidental, the students have managed to correlate the launch of their campaign with the annual tradition of Vintage Days by including a live remote by KISS Country today, and a performance by the country rock band Chaparral tomorrow.
But the Fresno State campus is not the only place where the community will be seeing campaign promotions. KSEE 24, a local news station and NBC affiliate, has partnered with the class to run the students commercial approximately 50 times during the next month.
“This campaign has really given the students a lot of visibility in the community,” Hays said. “KSEE 24 has really come on as a supporter.”
Other than the television publicity, the students have started a Facebook and Twitter account, and have also starred in various TV and talk radio interviews.
“Working with a group of students with one common goal is beneficial because we each bring new and different ideas to the table, which will allow us to be more successful with our campaign,” Walter said.
Students, faculty and staff can gain more information about the campaign by logging onto iCANfighthunger.com.