Around ASF Blog
Volume 1 / Entry 6
March 8, 2012

Hello friends,

In considering what to write about for this week’s blog posting, all I can think about is the seminar I attended at OneOC this morning. It was entitled “Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding.” Now, I won’t consume your valuable time with what may be considered a boring process of rebranding an organization. However, one thing stood out to me in the process.

We were asked to consider the core value of our organization. Figure out what it was we did best. Now, in branding, this has to be done with the consultation and buy-in of the leaders of the organization. But, it started me thinking then and there about a story from last year’s AIDS Walk.

An ASF client was uninterested in attending AIDS Walk because he wanted to hide from his disease. He wanted to avoid the stigma. Of course, not everyone who attends AIDS Walk is HIV positive. I would venture to say that most are not, though they probably know someone who is…or was. But this young man never did anything social so that he wouldn’t have to face the chance of being stigmatized for his disease.

Anyway, he did finally decide to attend the walk at his mother’s urging. While standing on Main Street, USA, at Disneyland, among the thousands who were waiting for the walk to kick-off, he turned to his mother and told her he no longer felt alone.

To me, that’s it! It may not be the overarching story of the agency, but as I walk the halls of ASF every day and see the social workers, nurses, health educators and case managers tending to their clients’ needs, it seems the best message we can send. You are not alone.

You need food? We have a food pantry. You are not alone.

You need a place to sleep? We have emergency housing opportunities. You are not alone.

You need to connect with care? We have case management. You are not alone.

You just need someone to talk to? We have mental health counselors. You are not alone.

I haven’t brought this up to anyone at the agency yet. Probably should have done that before showing my hand here. But I feel so strongly about it that I had to write it down…today! Hopefully, this messaging in my head will turn to greater purpose for the agency. But know for now that…

You are not alone.

Thanks for reading!

Marc Montminy
Director of Communications and Public Relations


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