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Eagle PR campaign benefits Zambian famine relief

A donation of $13 can feed eight people in famine-stricken Zambia for two weeksthis is the premise driving Eagle PR’s Zambia Mission campaign.

According to the BBC, over two million Zambians need food as the country endures two years of drought. Zambia Mission, a Church of Christ-led organization, aims to aid the country in its time of need.

Eagle PR, Oklahoma Christian University’s student-run public relations firm, started their campaign to help Zambia Mission and provide funds for food relief.

Elizabeth Killough, the firm’s director, said the campaign rose from a desire to help others and gain experience in running a public relations campaign.

“We wanted all of our staff members to participate in a campaign,” Killough said. “We also wanted to give back for a positive cause.”

The campaign, hosted from Feb. 28 to April 8, encouraged students and the campus community to donate in order to feed those in need in Zambia. All proceeds went directly to Zambia Mission to purchase food for hundreds of Zambians.

Oklahoma Christian alumni Meagan Hawley and Jana Miller are missionaries with Zambia Mission. Additionally, Miller graduated with a degree in mass communication and is supported by the Edmond Church of Christ.

According to Killough, Eagle PR’s faculty advisor Josh Watson thought of benefiting the Zambia Mission after hearing about the ministry through Edmond Church of Christ.

“This is a great way to get involved with our alumni and raise money and awareness,” Killough said.

Haleigh Evans, Eagle PR’s research coordinator and event planner, said many students were unfamiliar with the crisis in Zambia.

“We found out that almost 90% [of students] were unaware that Zambia is in a famine and has been for about a year now,” Evans said. “Eighty-five percent thought that the outside help would be required to help them, and that same percentage thought that OC students could help.”

To raise awareness and earn donations, Eagle PR hosted tables in the student center, promoted Zambia Mission through social media, conducted focus groups and led a virtual talent day.

While the semester unexpectedly went online, the 10 team members had to adjust quickly. 

“We were going to highlight some of the luxury items we could give up to be able to give, just to purposefully think about how we were spending our money,” Killough said. “Then coronavirus came, and we had to rethink our entire social media plan.”

Killough said COVID-19 still brought a positive outcome to the fundraising campaign, despite the financial effects it has on students.

“The response was very beneficial,” Killough said. “Even giving just the smallest amount, doing it with a cheerful heart and intentions of helping others ended up being a more positive message than we had considered at the beginning.”

According to Killough, the campaign raised over $500. This money will go to Zambia Mission, where it will be used to purchase food for over 300 people for two weeks.

“I think it was super successful,” Evans said. “It was a little closer to home, since we have OC alumni that work at Zambia Mission.”

Killough also said donations are still being accepted.

“Our campaign is over, but people still need help,” Killough said. 

To donate, visit Zambia Mission’s website or give money via $ZambiaMission on CashApp or @ZambiaMission on Venmo. All proceeds will go directly to feeding those in the famine.

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