Friday, January 15, 2016

The Importance of Visual Communication

I am a communications major and love to, well, communicate. I've been told I'm articulate and have a way with words but you know what, I've recently learned the importance of visual communication. Don't get me wrong, I'm a visual person and an artist that paints guess what? Words. My art is RiverLights Originals, I pen inspirational words on river rocks, add metallic inks and then photograph the rocks in shallow running water. The combination of the running water, metallic inks, and sunlight creates beautiful mosaic like images.

A few days ago I learned yet again, the importance of communicating with images. Many of you know that Mason and I have spent the last two years raising money to improve his elementary school kitchen. Ultimately, the school got an upgrade to the school cafeteria and a full blown culinary science lab so the students at the school can learn about science, nutrition and how to cook. Mason raised $26.052 to put in the CSL, but now they needed money to buy the supplies to conduct the classes.

I had posted several notes asking for donations and Mason even offered up $200 from his Chopped Junior prize money to get the donations ball rolling. A local business offered up $100, a fan who saw Mason on Food Network message him saying he had also sent $100 to help. Keep in mind, at this point, the principal of the school has been paying the $100 a week bill to get this program off the ground out of her own pocket. I did some quick calculations and deduced that the school needed $1400 to get through the rest of this school year and posted letting my circles know we needed $1,000 more in sponsorship. At the same time I was posting asking for help, I saw a post from one of the parents at the school with photos of that days cooking class. I asked if I could repost and when I got permission, I posted this:

A few days later Mason and I stopped over to our friends house to deliver some of Mason's famous tacos (they've been under the weather and couldn't come out to Max's with us) and Mason came running out with a check for $1,000! WHAT?!! I went in the house and thanked them profusely. I asked why and Gary said, "I saw the photos and I want this program to continue." I saw the pictures. Look at those kids, they're smiling, learning about food and science and math and food and nutrition... I saw the pictures.

The Mountain Mandarin Festival has been a big supporter of Mason and this project. They have given the school the opportunity to work the festival for the last three years for a percentage of the ticket sales and this alone was a large part of that initial money to put the CSL in to begin with. Yes, the MMF has been a huge supporter, but they stepped up again because they "saw the pictures."

Incredible and wonderful. Communicate and share, do these things with intention and watch the good come flooding in. Now we need a local grocery store to step up and sponsor the CSL for the whole school year. Mason and I are working on that, but rest assured, this is a great program and it will change lives, I know it's changed mine.

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