The Pacific Northwest Mennonite Historical Society has partnered with a class at George Fox University (Newberg, Ore.) to help communicate its mission and work. For years, the PNMHS has needed help getting its story out into communities and to donors, but the group lacks the resources to do much beyond a simple newsletter Melanie Springer Mock – a member of the organization’s board and professor at George Fox- sent out two times a year. A plan hatched this summer by Melanie and her friend Polly Peterson, who teaches George Fox’s Professional Writing course, created a partnership between students and board members that will have a long-lasting impact. In November, representatives from the society visited Polly’s class, described the organizational mission and their needs, and then the students got to work, proposing all manner of things they could do for the organization. Student groups created a promotional video, a brochure and newsletter, a blog, and wrote  grants to help sustain the group’s mission. A few met with older Mennonites to learn their stories and write feature pieces for the PNMHS website and other publications. During finals week, board members and PNMHS volunteers attended Polly’s class again to hear presentations on the materials made by students. Much of what was created will now be used by the board to help promote Mennonite history in the northwest.  As Melanie put it, “I am thrilled that this partnership is working, and so are the board members.  I’m incredibly grateful that Polly has been innovative in her approach to this class, and her willingness to take the risk of forging a new type of assignment – one that will make such a huge difference for so many people.”
by Melanie Springer Mock from George Fox University Newsletter