Turning Humans Into Heroes

Here I am, 6.47am this morning, already at work, willingly here, 2 hours earlier than my official start time. (Or I was when I started to write this post.  It’s been a couple of days in between finishing but lets’s pretend I am still at work at an ungodly hour. 😛 )

Have I gone cray cray?

Today is our last day before my 2 week break period for Christmas and New Years.  I am in need of a coffee, which is becoming more of an occurrence these days for a non-coffee drinker. What have I been up to since the last time I checked in properly?  (Apart from the impulsive actions of cutting off my hair, dying it purple, then growing it out again and re-dying it blonde).

Work, Gym, Sleep, Repeat.  Wait, isn’t there a song about that? 😉 Just kidding.

Work.  What a crazy time of year.  Trying to close off everything we have and get our numbers correct so the powers to be are happy.  Not an easy task, let’s say that.  The last few month’s I have been super busy organizing all kinds of events including our Christmas Party and Charity Fundraisers.  Let’s have a peek at one, shall we?

First up, back in October, was a charity day for 2 employees, who have been dealt a really difficult hand.  Bob and Matt, both work for Ricoh, and the wife and daughter (or mum and sister) have been diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease.  What’s that you say? Huntington’s disease (HD) is a genetic neurodegenerative disease that results in brain cell death.  You can find more about this terrible disease here. When I first met Bob and Matt at Ricoh, I wasn’t even sure if they were family.  I knew they had the same surname but so do millions of people in the world.  However, after meeting them, they are some seriously lovely people. Once I heard Bob and Matt’s story for the first time, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for them.  Not only did they have to endure their wife/mum go through this disease, but to have their daughter/sister just be recently diagnosed, the pain would hit twice as hard.

Bob’s boss proposed an idea to me, about a day, where we could raise some much needed funds for Huntington’s Disease sufferers and get some awareness out into the public, as this disease isn’t as commonly known as other life threatening conditions.  This is where we created, SUPERHERO DAY.

For 5 weeks, I worked on creating this event.  Planning absolutely everything.  Marketing material, sponsorship’s, collection tins, catering, activities.  Everything went through me.  Originally, our little idea was going to be a Melbourne activity to raise a little amount of dollars and some awareness.  However, I wanted it to be BIGGER.  BETTER. STRONGER.  Like a real SUPERHERO.

I, with help from Tom, (Bob’s boss) put together a small campaign to our head office in Sydney to see if we could take this national.  We have around 160 people in our Melbourne office but Ricoh nationally, have around 1000 employees.  Could I really get that many people to participate in this event?  I didn’t know for sure, but I was going to try.

After some discussions, our proposal was accepted and our event would go live, nationally on October 17th 2014.  NATIONAL.  N.A.T.I.O.N.A.L. I literally could not believe it.  Our little idea had expanded.  As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, our team in head office, gracefully donated some cash to create a video blog, that would help us to explain Bob and Matt’s story. The team at Visual Domain came in and shot an incredible take. Have a look at the story here. It does go for a little while but it is absolutely worth every second. You may need some tissues.

Are you okay so far?  Good.  Let’s continue.

I am in no way a graphics designer, but here is the collateral I created for the event.

Pretty proud of the work I created.

Ricoh Superhero Day Poster copy

A3 Promotion Poster

Another Superhero File copy

Collection Tin Covering

Ricoh Superhero Day Flyer

A5 Promotion Flyer – Front

Ricoh Superhero Day Flyer(2)

A5 Promotion Flyer – Back

I printed over 1000 A5 information flyers and distributed them nation wide.  The poster file was sent and staff asked to print as many as they required and stick them up around their offices.  I made small collection tins, which I didn’t take a photo of but distributed 14 of them across the country.  The day was coming to life and I couldn’t be more proud.

I thought we would have a handful of participants in the branch who would actually dress up as a hero however I was totally shell shocked. Almost our entire sales and admin teams made the effort to dress up. The day started off a bigger success than I had already thought and it only got better.

We have 5 levels in our office building.  Every level had been notified that we were holding an activity and the did not disappoint in showing their support.  They ploughed through our bake sale before our staff even got there.  HOW MAGNIFICENT!  We ended up selling out of cakes and barbecue items.  I bought over 160 sausages and 80 burgers and *POOF*.  All gone.

Before I announce the official total we raised, here are some snaps from the day.

super4 super3 super2 super1

So the final total.

Are you sure you’re ready?

$11,000 … YEP, YOU READ THAT RIGHT… ELEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS NATIONWIDE (Give or take a few dollars)

What an effort by all those involved.  We could not have asked for a better result from this fundraiser. I had been secretly hoping we would raise around $5K for Bob, Matt and Huntnigton’s Vic but to more than double that, I was totally blown away. I still get a little choked up thinking about it.  Thinking that all my hard work and effort helped dozen (maybe hundreds) of other families.

I am hoping to use this experience within my career at Ricoh.  I have applied for a coupe of Event’s Management courses and I am just waiting to hear back from them.  Fingers crossed one comes across the line.

I am hoping to be around a little more next year so keep an eye out.

La Love,
C. x

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