We spent an hour and a half diverted from our work, but ended the day feeling more energized than ever about doing it.

This week, our Jostens marketing team in Minneapolis braved the cooler weather to put on a Costume Pot-Luck extravaganza (unofficial title, but exciting nonetheless). Before diving into the sweets-intense lunch, we participated in a team volunteering activity for The Link Minnesota. The Link is a non-profit that supports youth in Minneapolis who may be victimized by crime, getting involved in crime and who are struggling with poverty and homelessness. Take a look at our Facebook post to see all the 500+ lunches we bagged for this great organization (plus our amazing costumes).

As we finished bagging lunches, I reflected on the great opportunities students have in school to get involved — not necessarily in extra-curricular activities, but through volunteer efforts both inside and outside of school. I get it, yearbookers are likely over-involved as it is, but I cannot help but believe how important doing good can be for your yearbook program.

Think about Aristotle’s modes of persuasion: ethos, pathos and logos. In persuasive techniques, it’s easy to focus on the logical and historical importance of buying a yearbook — but even more powerful to create an emotional connection to this physical piece. It starts in the classroom — with the yearbook staff. As the staff, you embody all that the yearbook is: the coverage, the tone and it’s purpose within your school’s climate and culture.

Volunteerism is good for the soul, and provides your staff a chance to get out into the school community to embody your yearbook’s mission. Getting your name out there can be a great way to build an emotional connection, which can further the branding of your book (for more branding ideas, take a look at our Branding Ease article).

Volunteerism is good for the soul, and provides your staff a chance to get out into the school community to embody your yearbook’s mission.

Being involved with ticket sales at sporting events or helping usher at choir concerts can not only have a positive impact on school climate and culture, but can also give you inside scoop to stories or photo opportunities that you wouldn’t see as a participant.

Some ideas for volunteering are:

IN SCHOOL

Ticket sales at concerts, sporting events, prom and other school activities

After school programs

Tutoring

Concession stand attendant

Parent-Teacher Conferences helper

Committees (Homecoming, Winter Dance, Prom, etc.)

 

OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL

Feed My Starving Children

Homeless shelter volunteering

Generate a list of “Random Acts of Kindness” and complete them

Volunteer efforts at local hospital or nursing home (e.g., reading, playing cards, cupcakes, etc.)

 

Being part of the community is just as important as creating a historical annual that captures those moments. In this season of thanksgiving, gratitude and giving, consider giving back to your community.

About the author

Jason Kaiser, C.J.E.

Assistant marketing manager at Jostens Jason Kaiser, C.J.E., is an assistant marketing manager at Jostens, and has worked on a wide variety of print, digital and social initiatives bringing content to life through Yearbook Love, the Digital Classroom and more. A former yearbook adviser, Kaiser has worked with scholastic journalism for more than eight years.