President Obama’s tweet motivates COMS student to make a difference

Haiti fundraiser organizers
Left to right: Braxton Klein (manger of Cold Stone Creamery), Frederick Patterson, and Ash Hedrick Van-Briggle (students)

By Emily Lewis

Frederick Patterson, 22, a senior in communication studies recently held a fundraiser for Haiti in conjunction with Cold Stone Creamery on Tyler Avenue.

Haiti is one of the nations that was recently hit by Hurricane Matthew, which killed over 1,000 people and left thousands homeless. This is despite the fact that Haiti is still recovering from the destruction of the 2010 earthquake that killed over 220,000 people and left over 300,000 injured.

Patterson said that a tweet from President Obama is what motivated him to have this fundraiser. “I saw on Twitter that President Obama urged Americans to support Haiti in any possible way. That really struck a chord within me.”

The fundraiser consisted of supporters buying ice cream to go toward the event and a percentage was donated to the cause. There were also donations given directly to the fundraiser. Patterson stated, “It was a nice event at Cold Stone, where people showed their support by purchasing Cold Stone treats or throwing some change into a jar. It was a nice night.”

Patterson’s biggest challenge was not creating the fundraiser but advertising it. He stated that maybe he should have advertised differently than he had. “It’s not about telling people you have an event, it’s about letting people know this is how they can be a part of the solution to a problem.”

The turnout of the event was “moderate” in Patterson’s words. At the end of the fundraiser there was $34 cash donated directly via the donation jar. Patterson was yet to find out how much money was raised through Cold Stone. “My biggest motivation was that I was doing something that hopefully, I’d be able to impact on someone’s life. Even if it is just one,” Patterson said. He also wants people to know that they can make a difference, “What we have at Radford isn’t meant to be hoarded, we need to give. We need to encourage everyone to be heroes and it is as simple as asking, “How can I help?”

Patterson said that the other two supporting organizations for the fundraiser were the on-campus RadAd and the northern Virginia based Community Coalition for Haiti. CCH also has volunteers on the ground in Haiti.

He also said that this event was only the beginning of something bigger. He is currently working on his next fundraiser.

Patterson would like to thank the students and professors for helping spread the word, the people who showed support, Cold Stone Creamery, and all of the help from RadAd and CCH. 

Nov 16, 2016
School of Communication