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Doing a World of Good

(August 2010) posted on Tue Jul 27, 2010

Finding a way for your company to give back to the community.

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By Craig Miller

If you made windshield wiper blades or sold hamburgers, you might produce a lot of product and make good money, but your product has no broad, intrinsic value. Since you’re reading this column, however, you probably don’t sell those things for a living. Like me, you work in the wide-format digital printing industry—an industry that makes amazing products, with universal and intrinsic value. Without donating money or time, we can still provide products and services with a huge potential for public good.

During better times, Pictographics has sponsored large, charitable events, such as the “Aid for Aids of Nevada Black and White Ball” fundraiser. We had a lot of fun doing those projects and found them to be very gratifying experiences. Events of this magnitude, however, require many hours of staff time and thousands of dollars in materials. Given the current state of the economy, we’ve made the decision to temporarily back away from such large-scale projects.

But we’ve found a renewed sense of gratification from participating in small, one-on-one charitable efforts.

For example, we wanted to find a way to support the young men and women serving in the military, and yellow magnetic car ribbons didn’t seem adequate. So, we contacted the proper authorities and requested that we be notified when any service person from our region had been killed. Now, when we receive such news, we contact the family and offer our services pro bono. We then, typically, become a temporary repository for photographs from the family.

We scan the photos, design layouts, and sometimes create artwork that ends up as large-format prints in the form of gallery wrap-style canvas portraits, family portraits, group shots, pictures of happier days, backdrops, table throws, and handouts. The family uses our products during the viewing, memorial service, or funeral. Probably the best thing is that the family is left with portraits and pictures that they clearly treasure. Sometimes the family will request additional prints for other family members and we accommodate these requests.