By Lori Shepherd
If you’re looking for fast reasons to be entirely fearful and jaded about one of a myriad of troubling world conditions today, you’ll find them within seconds of logging on, dialing in, or listening to personal accounts and news sources. But dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that there may yet still be hope expressed in the form of kindness and basic goodwill extended by others. Leading up to Christmas Day, I couldn’t find a more perfect example of three specific Holiday PR stories I stumbled upon are entirely heartwarming. I’m identifying them as Holiday PR stories because each occurred during the #holiday season and each one, whether intentionally or not, helped create a powerfully favorable PR impact for all involved.
#1 – North Charleston High School Students Raise Funds for Syrian Refugees: What do you get when you leave a group of high school students alone together? Tremendous compassion. At the North Charleston High School in Charleston, South Carolina, this was never more evident after students first saw the image three-year old Aylan Kurdi, a Syrian refugee, lying lifeless along a Turkish shore and were compelled to do something. As a result of learning more about the conflict in Syria, students sought to help and they proceeded to raise approximately $1,900 from their lunch and snack money before sending it overseas.
#2 — 2 Chainz Surprises Disabled Vet Mom and son: just weeks before Christmas this year, Georgia rapper popularly known for provocative lyrics and for wearing jewelry exceeding just a few gold chains, redefined the image of the notorious rap lifestyle persona by offering to help disabled veteran, Dierdre Plater and her 11 year old son, endure the holidays more comfortably. Coming off of the success of his Dabbing Santa ugly Christmas sweaters video, 2 Chainz and a the T.R.U. Foundation, an Atlanta nonprofit organization that helps tackle poverty, dismal education, and domestic violence, identified Dierdre and son as a family much in need. The rapper along with her young daughters made a surprise visit and gifted her with rent payments for a year. He also surprised both Dierdre and Isaiah with apartment furniture, something they’ve gone without since moving in. This story is a big win for Dierdre and Isaiah, but it also creates favorable impressions of the devoted family man and caring nature of 2 Chainz and for the T.R.U. Foundation which made it all possible!
#3 – Free Haircuts in Ogden: There’s nothing like restoring humanity to the lives of homeless men and women, the most ignored members of our communities. In Ogden, Utah several Ave Salon stylists donated their time and talent for the sole purpose of helping men at the Ogden Rescue Mission spiff up by receiving fresh haircuts. The stylists organizing the event, Brian Brooks and Mandie Barnes, helped boost morale for numerous families who benefited from the grooming. They also held a turkey drive to gather food for families in need and those who stay at the shelter. Mandie and Brian’s gesture was both a genuine and compassionate gesture.