Nonprofit to Watch: Interview with UNICEF USA
Everyone knows UNICEF USA as the United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide. UNICEF USA does everything from famine relief to supporting refugees to providing vaccines and clean water.
We were lucky enough to ask a few questions to UNICEF USA's Manager of Social Media Content Tong Su. Read our interview below!
What programming, project, event are you most excited about in the coming months or next year?
UNICEF is turning 75 this year, and I’m most excited about UNICEF at 75, the big celebration planned for this Giving Tuesday (November 30). UNICEF supporters from all across the world are coming together to celebrate UNICEF's 75 years of lifesaving work. UNICEF USA is hosting events in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
As a content creator, I’m looking forward to working on videos, GIFS and Instagram Stories to get people excited about the event and tell the story of how UNICEF has made a difference for children for three-quarters of a century. I’ll be using UNICEF’s rich and constantly updated archive of photos, interviews and videos that we in the Content Marketing and Social Media team draw upon daily.
How can someone get involved with UNICEF USA?
Follow us on social media to get the latest news and stories about UNICEF’s work. Sharing our posts with your social networks is a great way to support UNICEF’s programs and the frontline workers helping children and families who live in some of the world’s toughest places. You can also become a monthly donor by visiting www.unicefusa.org.
If someone donated $10 to UNICEF today, how much good would it do?
Actually a lot! $10 could provide 2 children with 1 UNICEF school bag each, helping them keep their school supplies sorted as they return to school following the COVID-19 lockdown. $10 could also provide 2 vials, or 20 doses, of the measles vaccine.
How does UNICEF partner with companies to provide humanitarian aid to children across the world?
UNICEF reaches more children and young people than any other international organization. But we can’t do it alone. UNICEF unites with companies, philanthropies, foundations and others to achieve sustainable change for the world’s children. Whether it’s through funding or leveraging a company’s expertise and networks, businesses play a crucial role in finding innovative solutions for the global issues that affect children.
How has working with Deed supported the work you do with UNICEF?
We are always grateful when companies like Deed can help us amplify children’s voices, giving more people a chance to make a positive difference in a child’s world. Deed’s support has also been important to UNICEF’s emergency response and COVID-19 relief efforts. When India was faced with a deadly surge of COVID-19 cases this past spring, Deed sprang into action, raising funds that helped UNICEF send critical supplies such as oxygen concentrators, diagnostic testing systems, hygiene supplies and PPE kits to protect health care workers.
Can you describe your role at UNICEF USA?
I’ve been working at UNICEF USA for over two years as Manager of Social Media Content. I spend most of my time creating everything from videos to Instagram stories to infographics — that we share on our social networks, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn. I also spend time strategizing on how we can reach a wider audience.
What do you like about your role?
I love my job because as a content creator, I get to work with the photos and film footage from around the world. When disaster strikes, like the earthquake that hit Haiti in August, photographers and videographers ride along with the UNICEF aid workers, who often help lead the response. They trek with UNICEF workers to some of the world’s most remote, dangerous places. Thanks to them, we on the Content Marketing and Social Media team can put a child’s face on such humanitarian emergencies as the conflicts in Yemen and Syria, the child migrant and refugee crisis in Central America, and the COVID-19 pandemic. My job is to piece together the film footage and photos they gather to bring to life what children who live in these places need and how UNICEF makes sure they get it.
When was the first time you volunteered? What did you do?
In 2015 I signed up to hand out water at a hydration and fueling station in the TCS New York City Marathon. I enjoyed it because I liked doing my part to help the runners — and perfecting my technique! After handing out dozens of water bottles, I figured out how to pass the runners their water so they didn’t have to break pace. It's all about the timing! This volunteer job also resonates because UNICEF USA always has teams running in the New York City and Boston marathons to raise donations and awareness of UNICEF’s work for children.
What is your pet cause or a nonprofit you love, other than UNICEF?
I am impressed by the work of Ocean Cleanup. This NGO has developed technology to gather up the millions of tons of plastic that spill out of rivers into the oceans. Much of it ends up in garbage patches that get caught up in circulating currents, endangering our ecosystems, health and world economies. Trials of an Ocean Cleanup system in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch have collected giant nets of plastic trash for sorting and recycling. I am particularly interested in this work because UNICEF has a green initiative in Côte D’Ivoire that uses the plastic trash women collect to manufacture plastic bricks used to build schools.