USC Create-A-Thon Helps Seven Non-Profits With Their Publicity Needs

Columbia, SC (WOLO)– Seven Midlands non-profits are getting the gift of a lifetime. Almost 60 students from the University of South Carolina are working for a solid 24 hours to give the organizations the tools they need to succeed. A total of 117 people broken into seven teams, working for seven non-profits. They only have 24 hours to implement a full creative plan. The value of the work the students and professional mentors are providing is upwards of  $150,000. Though, for the non-profits who will get it all for free, it is priceless.


“What it is for non-profits, it’s almost like beingChristmass ahead of time. Because they’re about, in 24 hours, they will come here and get a present and get work that they never even dreamed of in some cases,” Scott Farrand said, a professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. For many, staying awake for 24 hours in a think tank doesn’t sound too appealing. But according to Karen Mallia, who started Create-A-Thon 5 years ago, said almost a third of those participating this year participated in the 24-hour creative blitz before.


“It is a gratifying and unique experience. Because it’s really intense and I think that’s part of the draw. Because it is that gauntlet that’s thrown down, is ‘can I do this? Am I capable? I know I can do it at my leisure, and I know I can do it for a class project, but when push comes to shove, can I have ideas and render them in 24 hours?’ It’s pretty challenging, even for a professional,” Karen Mallia said, an advertising professor said. 


“It’s been a really awesome experience, so far. We’ve worked really hard all semester to plan this event and to actually get volunteers together and to see this be executed right now is really fun,” Annabelle Kayye said, a junior advertising student who is participating for the second time.


The students receive meaningful, real-life, hands-on experience, and not to mention bragging rights. It is another chance to work with a team and network with the professional mentors who push them to make this the best Create-A-Thon yet. Which is a challenge since some projects won USC 4 National Advertising Awards last year. 


“Create what they need and then give them something even better. Because the whole thing is they’re all doing great work in the community but in many cases, they don’t have the communication, they don’t have the outreach, they don’t have the materials, the brochures. They just don’t have the materials they need,” Scott Farrand said.