June 10, 2015
Melissa Padilla, Rony Dixon
and Blake Ferguson
Three marketing staff members from Texas Tech University’s Office of Communications & Marketing participated in a CreateAthon event in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where marketing professionals and students worked for 24 hours to provide creative and technical services for local nonprofit organizations.
The Texas Tech graphic designers who participated are Blake Ferguson, Rony Dixon and Melissa Padilla.
“I decided to be a part of CreateAthon because it was a great opportunity to use my skills and talent to help the community,” Padilla said. “It is incredible that in 24 hours we worked with a group of strangers who all had different skills but all came together to help improve nonprofit organizations. Even though it was difficult to stay awake for 24 hours, it was worth it.”
The CreateAthon began nationally in 2002. It has delivered more than 3,500 projects to more than 1,300 nonprofits and counting. The total amount of work donated is valued at $20.5 million.
This was the first CreateAthon hosted in Albuquerque, and it had more than 100 participants in attendance. The nonprofits selected for the event were Casa Esperanza, Centro Savila, CLNKids, Inc., Crossroads for Women, Global 505 Coalition, Heading Home, Littleglobe, Inc., Mandy’s Special Farm, Paws and Stripes, TIASO and Watermelon Mountain Ranch.
Ferguson, who participated in previous CreateAthons, worked with Crossroads for Women, an organization helping women transform their lives and break the cycle of incarceration and homelessness. Ferguson’s group helped the organization with branding, created a new website and provided the organization with a basic communication plan and strategy to attract more donors and connect better with the community.
“Being involved in this again was an opportunity I didn’t want to pass up,” Ferguson said. “I really believe in giving back, and using the skills we all have to do that is a great way. CreateAthon gives you the opportunity to help out those nonprofits that are already doing great things in their communities, but don’t have the money or knowledge to be able to have professionals design or advertising.”
Dixon, whose group worked with TIASO, an artist cooperative that provides resources to artists for community projects, said the CreateAthon seemed like a fun challenge. His group designed basic marketing tools, including a logo, a tagline, business cards, brochures and letterheads along with brand identity guidelines and marketing strategies.
“The idea of working through the night was exciting, and I had a little bit of nostalgia from my all-nighters as a student,” Dixon said. “At the end of it all, the nonprofit organizations were so happy and that always makes it worth it.”
Padilla’s group worked with CLNKids, Inc., a nonprofit focused on ending child homelessness through early childhood education, parental support and community involvement. Padilla worked on web graphics for the organization’s newly redesigned webpage and a brochure for future donors.
“We spend so much time as designers and marketers working for companies that can afford great creativity and strategy,” Ferguson said. “It feels good to be able to give that same type of work to people who really need it. It’s great feeling knowing what you are doing could help a shelter, for example, to be able to have professional material to help secure larger donors or new revenue streams in order to expand and help more people.”