Case Studies 2009 - 2010

Project Leaders Organizations
Kelly Greenawalt Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse
Zach Cullen Interreligious Food Consortium
Tim Huff Vera House
Zandy Fretts Make-A-Wish
Merin Pasternak Meals on Wheels
Sam MacAvoy Aurora of CNY
Elana Bodow Catholic Charities
Jen Brotman and Oren Paley ACLU
Amrita Mainthia BASCOL
Lisa Frangella Boys & Girls Clubs of Syracuse


AURORA of Central New York, Inc. is a 501 (c ) 3 not-for-profit organization with a 90+ year history of serving individuals of all ages are blind, visually impaired, Deaf, hard-of-hearing, late deafened and deaf blind. The agency is dedicated to being a leader in the field and is committed to:
  • providing high quality services that empower individuals to achieve their highest potential and fullest level of participation in their homes, schools on the job and in the community
  • advocating for the elimination of barriers and attitudes that hinder this participation
  • educating all citizens on the causes, treatment and management of these disabilities
  • organizing resources necessary to support these efforts

For this project, Aurora asked us to create three posters, a PowerPoint presentation and help organize a fundraiser event. The posters were of a promotional nature and incorporated photographs and information about Aurora. A photo shoot was organized with the client to get some new pictures for their PowerPoint presentation. The event, Dessert in the Dark, turned into a promotional event, but Aurora did make a profit. Dessert in the Dark was very successful in terms of drawing an audience, promoting the organization in an entertaining manner, and connecting AURORA with new community members.





The mission of the Interreligious Food Consortium of CNY is to support those in need of food through a network of emergency food pantries.

The IFC coordinates food drives and solicits donations for food. Through our efforts and with the help of religious affiliates and local businesses, donated food is collected each year and distributed to various food pantries and programs at no cost. The IFC works to partner pantries with donor congregations and parishes to develop on-going support and sharing. We also facilitate meetings of groups of pantry workers for the purpose of sharing concerns, providing resource information, and solving problems.

The Interreligious Food Constortium (IFC) asked us to create a short documentary about the faces of hunger in Syracuse. The purpose was to give a human face to all of the statistics that we hear about poverty and hunger. The team spent the year visiting food pantries in the city of Syracuse and interviewing patrons, directors, and volunteers about the issue of hunger and how it effects their lives. They were touched by how honest people were in their responses and how giving they were of their stories. The final product was a 20 minute film that told the story of 6 different pantry patrons connected by insights from pantry directors and volunteers. The film was screened in an event at the Palace Theater on April 13, 2010 and the IFC retains copies of the DVD for future uses.

Below are images from the documentary.

Below are posters created for the Interreligious Food Consortium.





We are a youth development agency and our goal is to inspire and enable all young people in the Syracuse area, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.

The Boys & Girls Club of Syracuse asked us to create numerous promotional materials for this project. Different tasks ranged from public relations to advertising to graphic design. Invitations, save-the-dates, flyers and posters were all created for multiple Boys & Girls Club events. This was one of our larger projects for the year, with different sub-committees created to complete each project.





The mission of the Central New York Chapter NYCLU is to preserve all of these protections and guarantees:
  • Your First Amendment rights - freedom of speech, association and assembly; freedom of the press, and freedom of religion.
  • Your right to equal protection under the law - equal treatment regardless of race, sex, religion or national origin.
  • Your right to due process - fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake.
  • Your right to privacy - freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs.

The NYCLU approached comm.UNITY with an idea for a performance-based program to teach civil liberties to students in local schools. The project team helped brainstorm the name ORACLE (Onstage Reenactment for Advocates of Civil Liberties Education) and draft a letter to be sent to schools in promotion of the program. The team also created a logo and brochure for ORACLE. The final aspect of the project included reaching out to SU's Visual and Performing Arts students to get people involved and interested.





Meals on Wheels' mission is to organize, plan, and administer the service of delivering nutritious meals, nutrition education, and resource assistance to people living in our community unable to do so for themselves.

For Meals on Wheels, comm.UNITY created two promotional videos and also helped them gather stock photos of the activities and people at Meals on Wheels.






It is the mission of Vera House, Inc. to end all domestic and sexual violence, to assist families in crisis, to support those affected by domestic and sexual violence to live safe, self-sufficient lives, to empower women and children, and to promote a culture of equality and respect in all relationships.

As a returning client, Vera House asked comm.UNITY to help update their website and create promotional materials. The project team developed a brochure for general use. In addition, they also made the Vera House website deaf-accessible.





BASCOL provides child care when you need it, including before and afterschool, during school holidays, the summer and more. We are located in 14 sites throughout five different school districts in Onondaga County. We are a not for profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to providing consistent, nurturing, professional child care for children in kindergarten through sixth grade.

For this project, BASCOL asked comm.UNITY to create a registration flyer, research a possible fundraiser, redesign their website and create a Director's blog on that website. By the end of the year, comm.UNITY had updated flyers, created a photo base for BASCOL and launched a brand new website for BASCOL. The group had also completed research and created a save-the-date card for a restaurant fundraiser they plan to hold over the summer.





LVGS serves adults that read at or below a 6th grade reading level, targeting adults that read at the lowest literacy levels: Level 1 and Level 2. LVGS matches adult learners with professionally trained, volunteer tutors who assist them to become literate and obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for employment and self-sufficiency. LVGS provides a certified tutor training program for anyone interested in becoming a volunteer tutor. Workshops prepare tutors in language instruction for Basic Literacy and English for Speakers of Other Languages.

Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse (LVGS) asked comm.UNITY to help them with promoting one of events and creating a promotional video. For LVGS' fall event, the Five to Nine, the student team created, printed and distributed promotional posters, compiled a media list and wrote a news release. comm.UNITY also brainstormed, filmed, edited and produced a 3-4 minute promotional video for LVGS, complete with interviews of people associated with LVGS.






Incorporated in 1985, the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Central New York, Inc. is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to granting special wishes to children between the ages of 2-1/2 and 18 who are living with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. In granting a favorite wish, the Foundation strives to provide the wish child and family with extra-special memories of joy and laughter, which are in dramatic contrast to the hospital, doctors, and treatment programs. A wish offers a welcome respite - a time for just plain fun!

The initial objective was to help Make-A-Wish mostly in their public relations department. This included helping them with the new Dunkin’ Donuts campaign in particular, and with other graphics-related projects throughout the year. The Dunkin’ Donuts projects were more like campaigns, so they were done over a large period of time. The student team also created an electronic newsletter and holiday postcard aimed at donors for Make-A-Wish.




The mission of Catholic Charities is to reflect the teachings of Christ through advocacy, service to people and by convening people around social issues to develop just responses. We do this to demonstrate Christ's compassion and respect for the dignity of everyone, and to challenge all to live their vocations by being models of service.

Catholic Charities asked comm.UNITY to help with raising awareness of the different programs and centers they offer. The project team photographed multiple centers and used these photos to develop a general brochure highlighting Catholic Charities' five centers. The brochure is to be used as a promotional and educational tool.





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