I participated in my first 48in48 event this weekend in Atlanta – what an experience! Herewith, a few of my favorite things:
Feeling good. It’s true that to give back feels good, and I felt good about helping the non-profit we were assigned. We were able to create a website with thought to usability, design aesthetic, sharp copy and strong functionality so they can move their mission forward. They now have a place to direct people to learn more and get involved, a way for others to find them. They didn’t have that before today, and I played a small part in giving it to them. I’m grateful to my team and the 48in48 organization for making it all happen. It feels so good to do some good.
Team bonding. I knew everyone on our DEFINITION 6 team before we arrived, but now I know each one of them better, and that’s just awesome. I saw talents and skills on point. We laughed a lot. We took in beautiful views together, got inspired by other teams and speakers together. We made a blanket for a great cause together and got mini massages right next to each other. We shared several meals, drank several beers. We fell in love with the Georgia gopher tortoises together. No seriously, we all love them. And at the end of the day, we built a great website for somebody in less than 48 hours and strengthened our daily relationships without even realizing it.
Running into old industry colleagues and friends. I’ve always known Atlanta’s marketing and technology industries are just like a big small town, and the event this weekend solidified that. I ran into a former client/boss of mine from The Coca-Cola Company participating on one of the teams – I hadn’t seen her in over a year. I ran into another former colleague who was one of the judges. AgencySparks is a big supporter of 48in48, so of course, I ran into that whole team repeatedly throughout the weekend – we work with AgencySparks at D6, but it’s fun to connect outside of the regular work grind. Another former company of mine, Slalom Consulting, had a big team there and led one of the talks. I’ve always known I liked Atlanta for its professional vibe; seeing so many talented friends giving back their time at this volunteer event reinforced that feeling.
Having a way to participate with my job skills. One of my colleagues who participated, Thom Henkel, said “Advertising isn’t a field often recognized for the good it gives back to the world. So, when presented with an opportunity to use our craft to truly make a difference in the communities we call home, we should be obligated to do the right thing. I chose to participate in 48in48 to lend my experience and skills for an ROI bigger than us all.” I couldn’t say it better and wanted to share that thought with you. The advertising industry is often perceived to be capitalistic or all about selling people things they don’t need. So, it was an opportunity I too jumped at to be able to give back and use my own professional skills for good.
Learning about amazing non-profits. Who knew there were so many cool and diverse non-profit organizations right here in Atlanta? Not me. Now I’m exposed to 48 more, with missions ranging from saving the Georgia gopher tortoise to improving quality of life and education opportunities for African-Americans to providing shelter for homeless women and children to rescue dog organizations. It’s a diverse group of non-profits, and it feels wonderful knowing that all these generous humans are living and thriving right here in the Atlanta community as my own neighbors and friends. So cool.
If reading this blog post inspires you to donate, volunteer or connect a worthy non-profit with this great cause, please go to 48in48 and see how you can get involved. They aim to expand their mission to 48 cities building 48 non-profit websites each in the same 48 hours within the next few years. Let’s all help them get there!