Every time I see a law enforcement vehicle in Aggieland with the Crime Stoppers logo on it, I am reminded of that one time when a friend and client recruited me to serve on Board of Directors for Brazos County Crime Stoppers.
The Crime Stoppers signs, materials, and television spots were using a dated logo with a “corded” phone. Sheriff Chris Kirk, our Chairman, wanted it replaced with a “star” that resembled a badge, but not too closely. I was just learning to use the Adobe Creative Suite back in 2004 when I designed the Crime Stoppers logo that is still in use.
More pressing than branding issues, the program did not have enough money to pay its bills. Even the phone bill, which we reimbursed the county for, was in arrears.
Years prior, Larry Hodges of Copy Corner had put together highly-successful “Murder Mystery Night” events to raise funds for Crime Stoppers, leaving the program with a surplus. They had not needed to raise funds for years, but now they were out of money, and Larry was no longer on the board.
My client thought I could help. He had great ideas for fundraisers, and wanted to put my marketing skills, pr prowess, and mid-twenties energy to work, getting the word out to the community and potential event sponsors.
During my year on the board, we put together a Sporting Clays tournament, which is now an annual event, and benefit concert and silent auction featuring Johnny Lyon and Freddy Fender at the Texas Hall of Fame. We raised around $20,000 the hard way and got the program out of the red.
I learned a lot working with the Crime Stoppers Board. I learned to love the feeling of using my God-given talents to serve my community. Volunteering in the sweet spot is: when you can bring not only your time, but also your skills and resources, to the volunteer work.