Top 20 Accomplishments is finally here: A Look Behind the Scenes

Each year, the public affairs department of the Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) makes a list of our “Top 20 Accomplishments” in order to take stock of our activities in the prior year and to let our friends know we have fulfilled our mission to the best of our ability. Funny thing about this list – it rarely appears in early January when one might expect to see it. Why? Because we’re often a little busy.

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Our most important work, helping those who face disasters, always comes first. The #1 accomplishment on the list mentions Superstorm Sandy, the enormous hurricane that hit the East Coast in early November.  During and in the wake of such a serious event, our small public affairs department went into overdrive to share important information with the public about preparedness, explain what SEPA is doing to support our community’s response to the storm and jumpstart our fundraising efforts.  Just when we’d got a handle on all that, it was the depth of winter, a time when the Philadelphia region is plagued by fire disasters that keep us on our toes.

So here we are, on February 21, 2013, ready to share and celebrate our 2012 accomplishments with a marvelous multi-media presentation!  As we do every year, we printed a booklet with photographs and in-depth explanations of our activities throughout the year. (here’s the Top20_2012_FinalIn addition, as part of our digital and social media efforts, we will devote a part of our website to displaying a digital version of our booklet  and, for the first time ever, a video display of the many ways we achieved the goals of our mission. Dear Reader, please click on this link to experience our moment of reflection in a wholly new and exciting way. I watched it this morning and I was amazed, captivated and utterly floored by its power to convey our message.

Like our mission itself, the video is a testimony to working together to achieve a goal. The SEPA public affairs team consists of our fearless leader, Dave Schrader and his tireless communications specialist, Sara Smith. The rest of us are volunteers who wander in and out throughout each week, contributing as best we can. I think all viewers will agree that our intrepid video interns, Michelle Davies and Kareem Bazali, did a fantastic job of putting the video together. The fades to black and white were Sara’s brainchild, informed by her background in TV, and she curated the beautiful photos. I did some shaping of the language in both the booklet and the video. Dave was the mastermind behind the list itself and a wise producer and director of all our efforts.

We are extremely pleased with our final Top 20 compilation and gratified by our role in sharing the SEPA story with donors, volunteers and friends.  But we are proudest of the work itself — SEPA’s ongoing efforts to alleviate suffering and create a more humane, caring and just world.

-          Submitted by Sarah Peterson, public affairs volunteer

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