GM Back-To-School Mission Drive with SMCJAX

So there‘s a professional organization in Jacksonville that I dedicate some of my valuable time to.  Social Media Club Jacksonville was started by Lauren Teague and me back in November 2008.  Social Media Club connects media makers from around the world to promote media literacy, industry standards, ethical behaviour and to share the lessons they have learned. (source) In general, our slogan is “If you get it, Share it”!

We typically have events from different social media experts in the area where people discuss various topics such as blogging, twitter, social media ethics, legality of social media, and more. (If you’re interested in learning more about SMCJAX, there’s info at the bottom of the post.) We typically have one meeting a month and each one focuses on a single topic. Every once in a while though, we stray from the traditional meeting format, and let our hair down.

On our latest adventure, we partnered with the General Motors Company for a Back-to-School Mission Drive.

“GM Mission Drives allow participants to volunteer and socialize while experiencing new vehicles in a fun and meaningful way. We’ll meet at Sippers Coffee for a cup of joe, event check-in and a kick-off challenge. We’ll then go back-to-school shopping with GM provided gift cards and load the vehicles with much-needed school supplies and deliver them to Teacher Supply Depot. There, we will participate in a group volunteer project. We’ll end the day’s activities at a local pizzeria for more fun, conversation and photos.”

Hmm.. sounds intriguing. Here’s where our day took us!

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First things first, we met up at Sippers Coffee.  This is one of my favorite coffee haunts on the Southside area, so I was thrilled to hear this.  I was even more thrilled when GM provided everyone with coffee and a snack. Adam and I split an Asiago Cheese Bagel with cream cheese and each got a very large coffee. Both were delicious, and I’ll definitely order a bagel from here again!

Everyone chatted while we waited for all the days participants to make their way to Sippers.

Once everyone gathered we did a quick activity to get everyone in the mindset and the blood pumping.

Adam and I are apparently an excellent team for word search. We each walked away with a $25 Shell gift card and left the rest of the words searchers in the dust.

For the event, GM provided 5 vehicles for us to drive throughout the day to get our tasks completed. Each team could drive whichever vehicle they chose to the next destination. Once the task was completed at the destination, we would choose a different vehicle to drive to the next. We could switch vehicles at each destination as we wished. This gave us a chance to check out all of the vehicles all while driving around Jacksonville and doing good deeds. Not a bad day!

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That day, we had the choice of driving the following:

  • Chevrolet Sonic
  • Chevrolet Equinox
  • Chevy Traverse
  • GMC Acadia
  • Buick Enclave


We then hopped in the first vehicle, a GMC Acadia.  Adam didn’t even bother to offer to drive. He made a beeline for the driver seat.

I checked with Onstar for directions to our next destination.


Our first stop, we headed to Office Max!

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Each team was given a $75 gift card to buy everything that was on the word search. Afterwards, we would take all these supplies to Teachers Supply Depot and donate them.

$75 went quite a ways at Office Max because we were able to get several items on their Back-to-School specials.  They had a whole rack of items like glue, scissors, crayons and pencils that were all $1-$3!

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We cut it close!! We also picked up a few smaller items we thought might help to use ever last penny of that $75 we were given!

Off again! Next up? The Chevy Equinox, which I really enjoyed riding in that day.

Our next destination was Teachers Supply Depot.  I’ve heard of this place, but never actually been there.  In general, they collect donations of school supplies, arts, crafts, and other dohickeys. They collect anything from the usual pens and paper to oddities like fabric samples and egg trays.  Both of which can be used to make fun art projects for the kids. I’d completely forgotten I used to use egg crates for paint holders when I was a kid!  Right before school starts, there’s a special couple of days where teachers arrive, are given three bags, and can fill up the bags with as much stuff as they possibly can…all for free. We were here today to help them organize all the stuff! We were told that 12 SMC-Jax’ers working 90 mins here made the impact of “one whole week” for the only full-time employee. That really makes the hard work pay off!

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We came across a lot of interesting finds while we were there.

Sweet Earth Day poster!

The original George Forman!

A make-it-yourself Rain Guage! (only the bottom of the container isn’t lined up with the first etching on the ruler.. hmmm)

Each group was organized into different rooms.  Adam and I were assigned to the Arts and Crafts Room.  Our volunteer coordinator was REALLY happy to have Adam there. She made good use of his height and lack of fear of heights. He spent a lot of time on a ladder.

I used my organization skills and put “like things” together. Here’s the “Fourth of July/Labor Day” area that I organized.


Other groups had different activities. One group got to cut fun shapes out of scrap paper!

WJXT Channel 4 popped in at one point to interview Lauren and me.

Yay! Job well done. We were able to add Social media Club Jacksonville to their fun Volunteer Board they keep in their break room.

With a sigh of relief, we escaped to the air conditioning of the Buick Enclave.



On Star, take us to Broadway Pizza, STAT!

By the time we arrived, I was starving!!  I couldn’t wait to dive into some good pizza.

Broadway Pizza did not disappoint.  We had the pepperoni pizza, white pizza, and cheese pizza options. I tried pepperoni and white pizza.

Their pizzas were absolutely huge. One pizza definitely fed 4 of us if not more.

Full and sleepy, we headed back to our regular ol’ cars waiting for us at Sipper’s Coffeehouse.

Overall, I know I had a great time, and I’m pretty sure everyone else did too!  Huge thank you to everyone that made this event a success!


If you’re interested in coming out to an SMCJAX event in the future, you can connect with us here:
Twitter: @smcjax
Email Newsletter:

Sippers Coffee on Urbanspoon Broadway Ristorante & Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

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