Public Relations and Marketing Writing Portfolio

                        Press Release
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:                                                   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Brooke Wardrop
(Ghostwritten for Howard Shultz, Chairman and CEO, Starbucks)
Surabhi Mittal Agrawal
Comm E-150
Assignment: Letter to Starbucks’ Shareholders
•   Our instant coffee, VIA, has received positive reviews, and poses a significant opportunity for the

Surabhi Mittal Agrawal
Comm E-150
Assignment: Social Media
5) Information on upcoming workshops or museum or gallery exhibits worth visiting.

•   Extend/Promote – The blog can be a...
Surabhi Mittal Agrawal
Comm E-150
Image Repair Assignment
community since that’s where the crisis initially emerged, and hence decided to respond by creating an apology

Surabhi Mittal Agrawal
Comm E-150
Assignment: Feature Story
Trinidad and Marcus a native of England. She found Chookooloonks to be a great way to keep their family,
spread around the...
to tell a provocative story, through essays and pictures, of people who intrigue others through their uniqueness
and indiv...
Surabhi Mittal Agrawal
Comm E-150
Assignment: Marketing Byliner

                                       Good Grades Are ...
2. Rest Assured About Online Safety

   Internet security is a growing concern among parents, and rightfully so, in today...
technology or interacting with people from different countries and cultures. Now, when they have young
and adaptive minds,...
(Ghostwritten for Linda Chin, President, Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence (ATASK)).
Surabhi Mittal Agrawal
Comm E-150
Assignment: Speech Writing
Most cases of domestic violence are never even reported to the police.

These statistics are disturbing. But what is even ...
willingness to learn and positive attitude. She enrolled in Bunker Hill Community College to earn her teaching

3. Legal Advocacy Program: We are launching a new Legal Advocacy Program that aims to give our

       clients access to l...
I am proud of my hard working staff, and want to thank them for their flexibility and for putting in extra hours

of work ...
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Marketing and Public Relations Writing Portfolio

  1. 1. SURABHI MITTAL Public Relations and Marketing Writing Portfolio Press Release Shareholder Letter Social Media Plan Crisis Communication Feature Story Marketing Byliner Speech Writing (More samples including brochures and memos available upon request)
  3. 3. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Brooke Wardrop Director of Communications 617-989-2030 Kids Get a Big Bear Hug at the Franklin Park Zoo This Valentine’s Day Franklin Park Zoo announces “Love Is In the Air” -- a fun-filled week of entertainment, enrichment and family bonding -- during the February school vacation week BOSTON, Mass., February 4, 2010 – Franklin Park Zoo invites families to celebrate Valentine’s Day the wild way from February 13-20 during the school vacation week. Children can participate in the Valentine contest by making a special valentine for their most adorable animal, and witness the crowning of “Zoo Sweetheart 2010”-- the animal who receives the most valentines. The kid who crafts the most creative valentine wins an exciting behind-the-scenes tour of the Zoo for the entire family. “February school vacation week is the ideal time for families to visit the Zoo and to engage in recreational and educational opportunities, said Brooke Wardrop, Zoo New England Director of Communications. “Craft table, scheduled story time, and interactions with our knowledgeable zookeepers are a few of the many activities families can enjoy at the Zoo.” Fun and education are embedded in each activity at the Zoo. They offer a wide range of attractions such as animal encounters, stimulating exhibits, bio facts table, and special entertainment performances for all age groups and interest levels. Their Tropical Forest kept at 72 degrees year-round and home to gorillas, lemurs, mandrills, hippopotamuses, and many other enchanting animals is the perfect place to beat the cold this winter and to spend time with the loved ones. A delightful, action-packed week of love, learning, and laughter awaits families at the Zoo. ### About Zoo New England Zoo New England manages Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and Stone Zoo in Stoneham. Both are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Zoo New England's mission is to inspire people to protect and sustain the natural world for future generations by creating fun and engaging experiences that integrate wildlife and conservation programs, research, and education.
  4. 4. SHAREHOLDER LETTER (Ghostwritten for Howard Shultz, Chairman and CEO, Starbucks)
  5. 5. Surabhi Mittal Agrawal Comm E-150 Assignment: Letter to Starbucks’ Shareholders -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - To Our Partners, Customers, and Fellow Shareholders: This has been quite a year! Despite the most volatile, challenging economic times, our team rallied and led us to our resurgence. Thank you everyone for your continued support, and belief in us. Good news: Our revenues increased by 4 percent to $2.7 billion from $2.6 billion in 2009. Our share price has more than doubled to $26 from $10 in 2009. Earnings per share grew to $0.32 in the first quarter compared to $0.09 per share in the first quarter of the last fiscal year. I am very happy to announce that this year, Starbucks initiated its first-ever cash dividend and authorized additional share buyback. We have bounced back from the shackles of a turbulent economy, and are feeling very confident in our overall financial strength and the positive cash flows we are generating. As we all know, last year was a tough year. For the first time in the history of Starbucks, we were forced make tough emotional decisions to close down stores and make layoffs. It was also for the first time that our dominant market position was challenged by many new entrants in the coffee industry that competed for our market share. None of these events deterred us from reaching our goals -- we have built a strong value proposition, and we will continue to deliver best-in-class coffee experience to all our customers. These incidents served as a harsh reminder to never get complacent and to preserve the essence of our brand -- core values, culture, relationships, and a sense of community. We faced challenges, however, we successfully transformed the company, and hammered home a few key messages: the importance of exceeding customer satisfaction, and living up to the quality of the Starbucks brand. We are not just in the business of selling coffee; we are in the business of creating lasting experiences for our customers. Our comparable sales increased by 4 percent as a result of our cost-cutting measures and company-wide operational improvements, making sure, of course, that none of this was customer facing. Our success this year can also be attributed, in large measure, to one of our core values: innovation. • We launched a new print campaign this year that emphasized on decommoditizing Starbucks coffee by reaffirming its impeccable quality and coffee leadership. • Our new store design strategy strove to create a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere for our customers by staying locally relevant. The new designs reflect the character of each store’s neighborhood by hiring local craftsmen and incorporating reused and recycled elements where possible.
  6. 6. • Our instant coffee, VIA, has received positive reviews, and poses a significant opportunity for the company. • ‘My Starbucks Rewards’ cards offer more benefits to our customers such as free coffee refills and free customization options. • By adopting social media, Starbucks is now more engaged and connected to its stakeholders than ever before. I am proud to announce that we are the #1 consumer brand on Facebook and Twitter. A Smooth Road Ahead Starbucks has exciting plans for profitable growth in years to come while making sure that we continue to develop propositions that make a meaningful, positive contribution to the community. We stay committed to growing literacy among the underprivileged, and are funding several literacy drives in schools and community organizations across North America. We are responsible for our community and the environment, and support our farmers who work very hard to supply coffee beans, tea and chocolate that enhance your beverage drinking experience. We continue to be one of the largest buyers of Fair Trade Certified coffee, and frequently partner with organizations that supply high-quality, responsibly-produced coffee. Starbucks is making strides to refocus on the growth of the US market, invest in new stores, and expand product launches in grocery stores. Our future looks very promising, and we are relying on your assistance – all of you – as we embark on a new journey: as a healthier, robust, and revolutionary brand in the coffee industry. I assure all of you that there is no retreat now. We are looking ahead and focusing harder on creating long-term value for all our stakeholders. Our employees – our partners – are our biggest strength and driving force. I take great pride in my team’s resilience during the economic downturn, and thank them for their efforts and hard work in making Starbucks a trusted, household name. I would like to deeply thank all our customers for their loyalty and support. A big thank you to all our shareholders for investing in us, supporting us, and most importantly, believing in our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time. We pledge to live up to your expectations, and to communicate our new initiatives and growth figures with you frequently. Thank you. Warm regards, Howard Shultz Chairman and CEO
  8. 8. Surabhi Mittal Agrawal Comm E-150 Assignment: Social Media -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - Background I am undertaking this social media project for Camera Eye Photography Workshops – a personal interest organization. Camera Eye Photography Workshops conducts classes for those who are interested in taking their photography from a beginner level to an advanced, professional level. Each workshop lasts about a month, with classes twice a week. The classes are conducted in a studio based in Somerville, MA by instructors who are working artists as well as professors in the photography field. Apart from teaching technical and visual photography skills, the workshops also include critiques by the instructor and visiting guest artists, and field trips to local studios, galleries or museums. Target audience – Aspiring photographers; photography students interested in working on advanced projects or in creating advanced portfolios to seek admission in a higher degree program; and those interested in pursuing photography as a serious hobby. Goal – To drive traffic to the website and to increase signups for the workshops. Social Media Plan • Discover – Photographs from portfolios created by former students already exist in an online gallery on the website. Testimonials from former students also exist. • Optimize/Create – Exhibiting photographs from former students in various online photo galleries is a great way to get attention; however creating a blog, and writing meaningful content is paramount to engage the interested audience online. Use of photography related keywords or terms will enable Search Engine Optimization, and allow the content/articles to be found by photography enthusiasts via online searches. The goal of the blog will not only be to advertise the upcoming workshops, but to also share general information about photography and about becoming a better photographer. A blog may include content such as: 1) Photography tips: on lighting, editing, creating certain effects and so on. 2) Informational articles on types of camera lenses or other camera equipment. 3) Articles describing the projects of current and former students. 4) Tips to create admission-winning advanced portfolios.
  9. 9. 5) Information on upcoming workshops or museum or gallery exhibits worth visiting. • Extend/Promote – The blog can be a part of the website, and fresh content/articles/photos/testimonials can be uploaded frequently. Use of links, tags etc will make the blog search engine friendly and this will gradually increase traffic to the blog/website. Each blog article will contain call-to-action button so blog visitors have a clear direction. The following channels can be used to promote the blog content: 1) Flickr – Flickr is one of the biggest and most popular image hosting and sharing websites. This can be used to share students’ projects with the online community. 2) Facebook – A Facebook fan page can be created to share latest blog content, and to get attention online. 3) Twitter – Twitter is a great way to engage with people in the photo community. Several Twitter add- ons can be used to identify people who may be interested in learning photography or may be looking for photography workshops in and around the Boston area. Twitter enables the user to engage in a dialogue with other users while sharing content with them at the same time. 4) Online advertisements in Boston area event websites or online newspapers will also help promote the workshops. 5) Online resources specific to the art community will also be targeted. • Measure – Google Analytics will be used to track the number of visits and visitors, and also to track the referring websites through which visitors are visiting the blog/website. This will enable the marketer to gauge the effectiveness of each channel, and to invest time and money in each channel accordingly. This data will enable the marketer to determine the overall effectiveness of the social media strategy.
  11. 11. Surabhi Mittal Agrawal Comm E-150 Image Repair Assignment -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - A YouTube Video Spurs Crisis at Domino’s Domino’s Pizza underwent a big public relations crisis when two of its employees at the Conover, N.C. store recorded a disturbing video showing one of the employees tampering with food. The employee who was preparing the food was shown putting an ingredient up his nose and placing it on the sandwich he was preparing among other acts that violated the public health. The employees decided to publish the video on YouTube and in no time, the video went viral in the online community with more than a million hits in just a few days. The video broadcasted food being prepared in extremely unsanitary conditions, and the viewers – the widespread online community – were so disgusted by the actions of these employees that the company’s reputation and its food quality were threatened by the offensive acts of these employees. The employees later claimed that recording the video was a prank, and that the tampered food was never served to the customers. The actions of these employees were enough to stir a full blown crisis for Domino’s and to cause a dent to the company’s brand image. Rhetorical Approaches Domino’s used the following rhetorical approaches to defend itself: 0Corrective Action -The company immediately terminated the employment of the alleged employees, who also ended up with felony charges. -The company created its own Twitter account to reassure public that the event was an isolated event that had no bearing on any other store. -The store where the events had occurred was shut down for sanitation and restaffing. -An apology email sent by one of the employees clarifying that the video was just a hoax, and that the food wasn’t served to the customers, was made public to reassure the customers that the tampered food could not have possibly jeopardized any customer’s health and hygiene. 1Mortification - The company president, Patrick Doyle, offered a video apology that was distributed online via company’s Twitter account and its website. The company’s rationale was to keep the crisis constricted to the online
  12. 12. community since that’s where the crisis initially emerged, and hence decided to respond by creating an apology video. Effectiveness of Domino’s Crisis Communication Domino’s overall handled the crisis well and made the right move by firing those two employees and shutting down the store immediately to sanitize it to reinforce their quality standards and their accountability to their customers. Creating an apology video by the president of Domino’s, uploading it on to the company’s website, and distributing it via Twitter accounts of the company and its employees was a good strategy as the crisis originated online and was initially spread through social media channels. The company president, in a succinct and clear apology video, assured everyone that the company will now revisit its hiring practices to ensure that irresponsible people like those two employees don’t end up being a part of the company. He also mentioned that their stores are audited on a regular basis to maintain the highest quality standards. He acknowledged the seriousness of the incident and the damage it had caused to the company’s brand image, and reiterated that the event was isolated and that the main goal of the company was to regain its customers’ trust and maintain its food quality. What Could Have Domino’s Done Differently? Domino’s strategy was more reactive than proactive. The company could have prevented the social media backlash by responding to the crisis sooner than it actually did. -Domino’s waited for more than 24 hours to publicly respond to the crisis. They initially kept quiet hoping that the incident would subside, totally undermining the power of social media. The video went viral within no time of the employees posting it on YouTube. Only then did the president of the company offer a video apology -- almost 48 hours after the crisis emerged. -The company did not have a social media team in place, and they created their Twitter account at the time of the crisis. Not having a crisis plan in place, and not being prepared for this eventuality delayed its response. -The owner of the Conover, N.C. store should have issued a separate apology to show his accountability to the public, and should have announced the specific steps taken to overhaul the image of the store so customers felt comfortable eating there in future. -The company president, Patrick Doyle, said “We are reexamining all of our hiring practices to make sure that people like these don’t make it into our stores” in his apology video. The company should have shared the concrete steps it intends to take by distributing a press release to validate what they said and to further reassure the public that their employees won’t act so irresponsibly in future. Work Cited Clifford, S. (2009, April 15). Video Prank at Domino’s Taints Brand. The New York Times. Retrieved from Goldman, R. (2009, April 16). Domino’s Employee Video Taints Food and Brand. Retrieved from Gregory, S. (2009, April 18). Domino’s YouTube Crisis: 5 Ways to Fight Back. Retrieved from,8599,1892389,00.html
  14. 14. Surabhi Mittal Agrawal Comm E-150 Assignment: Feature Story _________________________________________________________________________________________ _ Beauty Lies in the Eye of the Beholder Holding her Nikon D300, Karen Walrond takes a neighborhood stroll on a beautiful spring morning to capture the allure of the azure sky and the bright orange flowers called the Texas Paintbrush. Ms. Walrond is the author of Chookooloonks, a blog that is a perfect union of beautiful images and words that inspire its more than a thousand readers. After having shot lovely pictures that will grace the wall of Chookooloonks that day, and light up the day of its followers, Ms Walrond sits in front of her iMac, sipping a cup of English Breakfast tea in her Houston home, and begins writing her blog post of the day. Chookooloonks has a clean and simple look with a white background. Most images on the blog are usually from in and around Ms. Walrond’s home, but some images depict her travels – both domestic and international. She writes on it every morning and within minutes of her posting on the blog, a flurry of flattering comments from her readers find a new home on her blog. The colorful and striking pictures accompanied by her enchanting words in the form of anecdotes and incidents from everyday life are truly delightful. “…I hope that the blog provides a little peace in my readers' days. I hope that once they've visited the blog, a small smile is playing on their lips,” says Ms. Walrond. Along with showcasing daily images and their write-ups, the blog also links to a forum called momversation (of which Ms. Walrond is a panel member) where mom bloggers connect and share tips and resources to raise healthy and happy kids. Overall the blog serves as a platform for bloggers – especially moms – to meet online, appreciate art and beauty, and motivate each other. “If chookooloonks were in the dictionary, it would look something like this: choo•koo•loonks (n) A Trinidadian term of endearment, used especially when addressing a child,” writes Ms. Walrond who first started blogging when she and her husband, Marcus, were awaiting the arrival of their daughter Alex. Ms. Walrond is a native of
  15. 15. Trinidad and Marcus a native of England. She found Chookooloonks to be a great way to keep their family, spread around the world, involved in their lives. Although Ms. Walrond continues to write about her life and Alex, her writing on Chookooloonks is now much more diverse and, over the years, the blog has morphed into a creative platform for her to share her work as a photographer, writer, speaker, and now an author, and to inspire others to do the same. “Nowadays my blog serves many different purposes: it's a way to record my life, yes, but it's also a way for me to practice my art (photography and writing), and a way to remind me to stay positive and stay present,” says Ms. Walrond. Ms. Walrond got interested in photography only later in her life as she wanted to take her own family portraits. She was not always a writer and photographer. She was a lawyer, and was thriving in her corporate job. She would have endured the demands and stresses of her career as a lawyer if she had the passion for it. But she didn’t. Her true calling was something else. Whenever she thought of retirement, her dreams and fantasies took her to a world where she was a writer, photographer and speaker. She soon realized that it wasn’t fair to take her attention away from something that made her truly happy, and fulfilled her from within. She decided to quit her law practice, and decided to pursue her career as a writer, photographer and speaker full-time, and to give a new identity to Chookooloonks. Quitting her job, however, wasn’t easy for Ms. Walrond. Her biggest challenge was to deal with the fact that she couldn’t make as much financial contribution to her home as she did when she was flourishing in her law career. Growing her blog and building her new business was very exciting and definitely very satisfying, but her family had to curb its discretionary spending and could no longer indulge in luxuries as readily as it earlier could. This was a big change for her but it didn’t deter her from following her dreams. “I remind myself that I'm so much happier than I was when I was making tons of money. And that makes all the difference,” she says. Ms. Walrond is now a seasoned speaker and a renowned blogger who is invited to several blogging and social media conferences across the nation as a key note speaker or a panel member. She regularly contributes articles and essays to several online and offline publications. As a photographer, she contributes her images to a number of blogs and publications, and her images are featured at gallery exhibits nationwide. Her every day is full of passion and creativity. Ms. Walrond recently found a new medium to talk to the world and authored The Beauty of Different that is being published by the Bright Sky Press, and is scheduled to release in fall 2010. Her goal through this book is
  16. 16. to tell a provocative story, through essays and pictures, of people who intrigue others through their uniqueness and individuality. “These are ordinary people, who are really actually extraordinary – and therefore immensely beautiful as a result,” she writes (on her blog). Latest fascination that consumes Ms. Walrond these days is her life list – 100 things she wants to do in her lifetime. Updates about her life list are a Friday ritual on Chookooloonks. This is a comprehensive list of places she wants to visit, events she wants to attend, instruments she wants to learn to play, things or faces she wants to photograph, and many such things that are full of vigor and very inspiring to her blog readers. “You did it! You're an inspiration, my friend,” says a reader. “I love this! I'm totally going to do it too! It is funny because I found myself reading through your list and saying "Hey! I've done that!" and feeling very proud of myself,” comments another reader. Ms. Walrond’s passion and enthusiasm for life are a great motivation for her audience – be it blog or live. The beautiful images and optimistic words on Chookooloonks are a constant reminder to people who are stuck in a rut, and don’t have the courage to follow their dreams, or those who just need a little stimulus to keep them going to follow their passions, and to live their lives to the fullest. Ms. Walrond shares her excitement and energy for life in her blog and motivates her readers to do the same, which is clearly evident in their admiration of her and Chookooloonks.
  18. 18. Surabhi Mittal Agrawal Comm E-150 Assignment: Marketing Byliner Good Grades Are a Click Away By Aish Agrawal Twice a week, 12-year-old John sits in front of the computer in his Worcester home, puts on a headset, and gets ready for an hour long tutoring session. His tutor, Raj, is based in a small town in Central India -- thousands of miles away. Such is the beauty of online tutoring. Online tutoring knows no boundaries and any student, anywhere, can take advantage of this medium of learning as long as he has access to a computer and the Internet. The Internet is most kids’ lifeline these days. As parents, you want your children to learn more constructive ways to use technology than only using Facebook and MySpace. Many of you are adopting the phenomenon of online tutoring. Some of you, however, are apprehensive about getting your children tutored online and raise concerns about its accuracy and safety. Educating yourself about this trend can reduce your anxiety and enable you to make informed decisions regarding your children’s Internet usage. 1. Interact Effectively Your child’s needs and abilities are assessed thoroughly through a diagnostic test before starting the tutoring sessions. This way his tutor knows what areas need more focus. Online tutoring offers a shy or struggling student a less-threatening environment to ask questions and allows him to get instant feedback and encouragement. A student and teacher can communicate using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology and work together in real time. Using a headset for voice communication and a shared computer screen called the whiteboard make learning interactive and fun-filled – just like working together on a chalkboard in a traditional classroom. The voice quality is crystal clear: it’s like having a telephone conversation.
  19. 19. 2. Rest Assured About Online Safety Internet security is a growing concern among parents, and rightfully so, in today's daring new world of technology. Online tutoring is one of the safest ways to get out-of-school help to your child. Most online tutoring companies hire screened, certified, and trained tutors. Your children can learn from the safety and comfort of your home and you get an opportunity to get involved in their education and monitor their progress while catering to your daily chores at home. It’s much safer than having a stranger come in to your house every week to teach your child. 3. Save Money Involving a global talent pool with the help of technology makes online tutoring extremely affordable. You save on gas, contribute to the environment, and don’t pay any premium to use high-priced learning centers or private tutors. All software is free and easily downloadable. All you need is a computer with a high-speed Internet connection and a head set, and you are good to go. 4. Enjoy the Flexibility Online tutoring gives you the option to choose the time that most suits you and your, perhaps already overscheduled, child. It offers the flexibility to reschedule tutoring sessions in case of last-minute schedule changes, and there are no long-term contracts to bind you. Your child can simply log on to his computer, and start learning! 5. Choose Wisely Many companies offer online tutoring services. Do your research and select a company that hires competent teachers, and provides prompt service. Before choosing a service, read their testimonials to see what other parents are saying about their services. Find out if they were mentioned in the media or in the blogging community. Once you have made a well-researched decision, sit back, relax, and see your child’s grades climb. A student can be in a large public school, a smaller private school, or even a home schooling environment to benefit from online learning. Children in today’s generation cannot get away from using
  20. 20. technology or interacting with people from different countries and cultures. Now, when they have young and adaptive minds, is the right time to give them the tools to prepare themselves for future challenges. Welcome the concept of online tutoring; keep up with this trend that can also be used as a forum to bring different cultures together. It's time to accept the gift of globalization and all the goodies it has in store for us. It’s time to say good-bye to the over-priced personal tutors and learning centers, and still feel confident that your child’s education is in the right hands of qualified and trained instructors. Aish Agrawal is the chairman and chief executive officer of Click and Climb, Inc., a provider of online tutoring to children in grades three to 12. He can be reached at
  21. 21. SPEECH WRITING (Ghostwritten for Linda Chin, President, Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence (ATASK)).
  22. 22. Surabhi Mittal Agrawal Comm E-150 Assignment: Speech Writing -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - The Journey: From Abuse to Hope Good evening everyone, and thank you, Janet, for the kind introduction. Welcome to our 17th annual Silk Road Gala. I am glad to see you all here, and believe me – I can already feel the energy and excitement in this room. I am delighted to share this evening with all of you – our long time supporters, and many new ones, who have joined our hands to support our mission to prevent domestic violence in Asian families and communities, and to provide hope to survivors. Thank you everyone. Your presence makes this evening extra special. I am sure our new supporters are eager to learn more about the full-spectrum of services we provide. I would like to briefly discuss our services and explain how we provide help and hope to battered women and their children, and also update all of you with ATASK’s ongoing projects and upcoming efforts to end the cycle of domestic violence. 2011 is an important year for us, and we look forward to your continued support and assistance as we work hard to turn our ideas into reality. An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. According to a recent study by the U.S. Department of Justice, 84% of spousal abuse victims and 86% of dating partner abuse victims are females.
  23. 23. Most cases of domestic violence are never even reported to the police. These statistics are disturbing. But what is even more disturbing is the abuse faced by our typical clients who are immigrant women and suffer even more due to cultural and linguistic barriers, minimal skills, legal obstacles, and poverty. A survey of immigrant Korean women by U.S. Department of Justice reveals that 60 percent had been battered by their husbands. At ATASK, we help by offering a 24-hour multilingual hotline, New England’s only multilingual emergency shelter, and an extensive one-on-one advocacy program. We provide outreach and education, in Asian and non- Asian communities, and look to prevent and forever end the cycle of violence. Our Seeds of Hope Scholarship is granted every year to enable a low-income client, who has the determination to pursue education, become independent and self-sufficient. Generous donations from the last year’s gala enabled the Asian Shelter and Advocacy Program, our signature program, to serve more than 60 clients and handle more than 7,000 advocacy calls and 308 helpline calls. Our multilingual advocates assisted 450 clients with legal, housing, healthcare, mental health, public benefits, employment, and immigration advocacy and referrals. Our educational workshops and trainings attracted 2,400 participants. We reached thousands of community members through outreach events and activities. Tonight, I would like to share with you one of many triumphant stories of our clients. Kolap felt trapped in a marriage that was both emotionally and physically abusive. She was forbidden from working outside the home and had little means of supporting herself, and few contacts that would have given her the confidence to break free. In 2008, her brother found us online and put us in touch with her. She fled her abusive husband and found a new home and a new and supportive family at our shelter. She soon found a full- time job to support herself, moved out of our shelter, and found a roommate with whom she continued the habits and patterns of mutual trust. In 2009, she was awarded the Seeds of Hope scholarship as a result of her
  24. 24. willingness to learn and positive attitude. She enrolled in Bunker Hill Community College to earn her teaching certification. With renewed self-confidence and improved self-esteem, Kolap now can experience freedom and independence. ATASK plans to continue providing help and hope to many more women like Kolap so they don’t have to face their abusers or depend on them ever again. I am excited to share three of our upcoming projects with you: 1. Global Connect: This year, we plan to kick-off our long-term vision, Global Connect, to share our emergency shelter model and best practices with domestic violence service providers within and outside the US. Our hope is that by sharing best practices among healthcare providers, law enforcement agencies, and social service organizations, we will be able to stop family violence at its root. This year, professional colleagues from Asia have already visited ATASK to share best practices and exchange ideas. 2. Children and Families Program: Children from violence-prone households are impacted deeply and negatively. Our Children and Families Program will include activities that address the needs of the children of domestic violence survivors. Our Family Program Coordinator will oversee group and individual activities for children and parents staying at the shelter. She will conduct individual and group supportive sessions with children, provide ongoing assistance to parents, train and oversee volunteers who provide childcare at the shelter, work with school officials, and refer clients to other helpful resources.
  25. 25. 3. Legal Advocacy Program: We are launching a new Legal Advocacy Program that aims to give our clients access to lawyers specialized and experienced in family law and immigration issues. Our experience working with immigrant clients has revealed that they have many questions about issues such as divorce, restraining order, custody, and immigration status. Under this new program, our clients will receive these services in an environment that helps alleviate their anxiety, where they feel safer and properly accommodated both linguistically and culturally. It is very crucial for us to collaborate and create meaningful partnerships to achieve our goals. We are trying to reach out to new supporters by incorporating social networking and individual fundraising in our development plan. We are arranging presentations in more conferences and conventions such as the Asian American Journalists Association conference and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association convention to spread awareness. Despite the poor economy, our growth has been possible because of the continued support of our donors, volunteers, supporters, and partner agencies who have believed in our mission. The proceeds of tonight’s event represent 20% of ATASK’s annual operating budget. Your generous contributions allow us to serve women and children who seek out our services. I would like to deeply thank our co-chairs Dina and John Chin and Bill and Yuko Wallace for their contribution and commitment to support our work. Thank you for your hard work and confidence: your leadership served as a catalyst that helped us in making this grand evening possible. I want to thank all our corporate sponsors: Citizens Bank, State Street Bank, Tufts Medical Center, and Deloitte, to name a few, for believing in our mission. I want to thank all the volunteers, steering committee members, donors, and sponsors of auction items for your time, contribution and support. I really appreciate all your efforts.
  26. 26. I am proud of my hard working staff, and want to thank them for their flexibility and for putting in extra hours of work to make this event successful. Special thanks to Janet Wu of WCVB, our emcee for today, for your valuable contribution. Thanks to all the artists, entertainers, and all of you for being a part of this wonderful evening, and for helping us in making our mission possible. Please sit back and enjoy the gala. Also enjoy bidding on our exciting and wonderful silent and live auction items. Remember: Together we can stop domestic violence and empower battered Asian women and their children, and give them hope to lead their lives with dignity. Thank you.