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The Midlands’ Remarkable Culture of Volunteerism

Our community is made up of many remarkable people who generously donate their time and talents to a variety of causes without expecting anything in return. The collective impact of our community’s volunteer efforts is inspiring and is one of the main reasons this week’s “Love Where You Live Series” writers love the Midlands.

From JoAnn Turnquist:

Our community is made up of many remarkable people who generously donate their time and talents to a variety of causes without expecting anything in return. The collective impact of our community’s volunteer efforts is inspiring and is one of the main reasons this week’s “Love Where You Live Series” writers love the Midlands.

This week’s post brings thoughts from Tracie Broom and Debi Schadel, the co-founding partners of Flock and Rally. Flock and Rally is a boutique, women-owned public relations, marketing, branding, social media and event planning agency based in Columbia, SC. The Community Foundation frequently works with their team on public relations for our various initiatives, including Midlands Gives and the One SC Flood Relief Fund. The Flock and Rally team leads by example. Their passion for the community radiates in every project they participate in, inspiring others to join in making our community better.

Cheers!

JoAnn Turnquist

 

 

Flock and Rally

The Midlands’ Remarkable Culture of Volunteerism

By Tracie Broom and Debi Schadel

While our public relations, marketing and branding firm is focused on helping our clients raise awareness, increase traffic and drive conversions, we have an overarching goal that informs just about every decision we make: we want to help make the Midlands region even more awesome than it is already. What makes each workday so special for us is that so many of our fellow citizens seem to be of the same mind.

Our mission as a company is to rally our community around great ideas, with the goal of strengthening our local economy and drawing attention to the Midlands and to South Carolina as a destination for high quality of life.

This is why we volunteer our time and give to nonprofits like the S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts & Humanities, Slow Food Columbia, the Krewe de Columbi-Ya Ya, Girls Rock Columbia, Historic Columbia Foundation, the Columbia Museum of Art, the Anita Hill Party, COR, WXRY, Richland Library, the Nickelodeon Theatre and more. It’s why we love to go the extra mile for nonprofit clients like Central Carolina Community Foundation, 701 Center for Contemporary Art, EngenuitySC, Kids’ Chance of South Carolina, Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College and the Five Points Association.

It’s why we love to connect people to resources and vice versa, by launching big events like the Crafty Feast indie craft fair and rolling out fun little community-building tools such as the Soda City Connectors group on Facebook. It’s why we don’t limit our recommendations to clients when asked by media, “Who’s doing exciting things right now?”

It’s also why we co-found initiatives like the local chapter of the Kauffman Foundation’s “1 Million Cups” group and encourage our staff to participate in professional development programs like Leadership Columbia. It’s why we host “What’s Next Midlands” ideation sessions with our interns and share project management checklists with colleagues who wish to start something of their own here.

We love where we live.

It has been so inspiring to work with the Central Carolina Community Foundation. When we joined forces and started working with the Foundation in 2014, we could not have imagined what excitement lay ahead. Building on the incredible groundwork that had been laid up to that point, we jumped into the 2015 campaign for Midlands Gives with high hopes.

What happened was absolutely mind-blowing. The community response was so enormous that in the end, donations doubled from the first year to total more than $1.5 million. All of this in 24 hours. (We can’t wait to see what will happen on this year’s Midlands Gives day on May 3, 2016!)

One thing we have noticed since founding our company in 2010 and incorporating in 2011 is that there is a remarkable amount of volunteerism in the Greater Columbia area. We’ve thought a lot about why this might be.

Is it because of the vast network of churches and faith-based organizations that focus on fellowship and stewardship, providing relief to the needy via mission projects and teaching kids from a young age that giving is important? Is it because parents are successfully talking to their kids about giving and serving as good examples via everyday philanthropy? Is it because our power structure here is more horizontal and less based on wealth, allowing for greater civic and community participation from all income levels?

Whatever the reason, the effect is beautiful. It is very easy to get involved here, and with a bit of ingenuity and consistent effort, it is not that hard to create or assume a leadership role that enables you to contribute significantly to your community. Even better, there are so many people willing to volunteer their time and treasure to a good cause that if you simply ask, you can find more support for your idea than you ever could have dreamed possible.

About Tracie Broom and Debi Schadel

Tracie Broom and Debi Schadel are the co-founding partners of Flock and Rally, a boutique, women-owned public relations, marketing, branding, social media and event planning agency based in Columbia, South Carolina. Their team, which includes staffers Chloe Rodgers, Rachel Carter and Ashley Cady, works with the Central Carolina Community Foundation on public relations for initiatives such as Midlands Gives, Connected Communities grants, the One SC Flood Relief Fund and more. http://www.flockandrally.com