bob burdette logoThe Bob Burdette Center has a mission—help Charleston kids so they can one day help others. With three different locations on the West Side, approximately 120 children in grades K-12 are served by the staff and volunteers of the comprehensive after-school program. 

Company Story

The BBC wanted to expand its presence in the community. “Our program is 15 years old, but not very well known, despite the time we’ve been serving,” Executive Director Loren Friend Farmer acknowledged. Then she heard about the Frank Brown Community Partnership, offered by Bricks Without Straw. “I checked out Jamie’s website, looked at the work he had done, and thought it was really great. Hopefully, I applied. He contacted me in January and let me know we had been selected. I was ecstatic, because it was something that we really needed for our program.”

Meeting with Jamie, Friend Farmer shared her vision for the BBC’s new website--bright and cheery to draw people in, good pictures, and specific content laid out in a visually pleasing format. Jamie also offered ideas, like the online application form for potential volunteers, a concept which excites the executive director. “We’ll be more likely to get back information we need from potential volunteers, rather than waiting on a paper form.” Jamie also embedded a live calendar, a feature Friend Farmer loves, and placed the newsletter online, archiving recent years. 

Covering Every Detail

To complete the site’s professional look, Jamie put the BBC in touch with Rick Lee, a local photographer who donated his time to create the site’s beautiful, high-quality images. Another facet of the Frank Brown Community Partnership was an update of the BBC’s entire social media presence. “He connected it all (website, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr) so we could use it easily. It cuts down on the work I have to do, which is great,” Friend Farmer said. Additionally, the new site includes a link to PayPal, enabling donors to easily give. 

Friend Farmer appreciated Jamie’s enthusiasm for the pro bono project. “Even though this was a project he was doing at no cost, he put in as much effort as he would have a paying client. He was very respectful, very attentive to what we wanted, and provided us with the best quality of service.” 

Personal Commitment

The board of the BBC also noticed Jamie’s enthusiasm, leading to an unusual relationship for a web designer and client. Board President Sam Sommerville explained, “We asked him to serve on our board. Jamie certainly had an interest in what we were doing, serving families and children on the west side of Charleston. He had. . .high energy and a lot of good ideas to promote the BBC (through) technology and social media and websites.”

Sommerville continued, “Jamie has a very good understanding (of the non-profit world), and I value him as a member of our board. He has a good understanding of what our needs are, who we are trying to serve, (and). . .the difficulties of funding non-profit activities.”  

Rev. Ron Stoner, a board member, said, “As Jamie began to realize the impact the program makes, he was willing to be part of it with us, and has come to be a very valuable asset.” Rev. Stoner, who served for thirty years as pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church and was a personal friend of Bob Burdette, has been involved with the BBC since its inception. “One of the biggest weaknesses has been that we didn’t have anybody to help us in marketing and we weren’t very savvy in that area. We have said way too many times, ‘It’s one of the best kept secrets of the West Side.’”

Producing Ideas and Material

As a board member, Jamie has offered marketing ideas and developed promotional material, like the postcard he recently printed for the center to use in fundraising efforts. Along with website and contact information, the card includes an infographic Jamie designed which is “very concise, clear, and gives you a good snapshot of what we actually do,” according to Friend Farmer. Donors and potential donors can see, at a glance, the number of children that the center has served and the ways it has served them. Friend Farmer said, “I’ve got a lot of good feedback on those.”  

“A Bright Spot”

According to Friend Farmer, the board appreciates Jamie’s contributions. “They are glad to have somebody who is familiar with marketing and is able to bring new ideas.  This is not something that the organization has ever done in the past.”

As Rev. Stoner said, “Jamie helped us to move out of obscurity. We’re very grateful.” He added, “He’s just a bright spot; it’s fun to have him around. When he shares things, he has intelligent insight and opinions and I just appreciate him.”  

Board member David Mincer observed, “I’ve served on boards where people don’t show up, don’t care--not Jamie. He offers his thoughts and he’s really, really helpful. He’s given us most of the guidance and help we’ve gotten on marketing the BBC. He’s been a huge help to have on the board and we hope he stays forever.”

 “Jamie is passionate about what he does and he’s really interested in helping people get the resources they need to be more productive and have good websites,” Friend Farmer said. “I’m just really appreciative of what Jamie has done for us. He’s given us an opportunity to get our name out there, get up-to-date with technology and social media, and take the next step to best serve our kids, communicate with the community, and fulfill the mission we have of helping kids reach their potential.”

Bricks Without Straw is a digital agency and design agency based in South Charleston, WV United States and Ota, Tokyo, Japan.

We offer a range of web design services including: web development, e-commerce services and email marketing. We also offer a range of graphic design services including logo design and exhibition stands.

We love working with clients of all sizes in a range of industry sectors, creating and implementing inspiring and hard working concepts and campaigns for business-business and business-consumer clients.

Valicia Leary

Bricks Without Straw has continued to exceed our expectations with their design work, support and attention to detail. We would highly recommend their services. They have a wonderful team and we enjoy our working relationship with them.

Carol Fulks

Bricks Without Straw has continued to exceed our expectations with their design work, support and attention to detail. We would highly recommend their services. They have a wonderful team and we enjoy our working relationship with them.

Patti Hamliton

Bricks Without Straw is bringing our association into the 21st Century! He brings us ideas and innovation for our web site and other tools of technology that help us enhance our image and our message.

Rebecca McPhail

Bricks Without Straw has continued to exceed our expectations with their design work, support and attention to detail. We would highly recommend their services. They have a wonderful team and we enjoy our working relationship with them.

Bill Raney

Jamie is one of the most committed and energetic professionals we have ever worked with over the years. He seems to work all the time with full 24-7 accessibility and immediate response. Bricks Without Straw has raised our collective confidence for maximizing opportunities in today’s world. We simply could not have done it without them.

Jan Vineyard

The demands and responsibilities to our members mandate that the online presence of our associations and our internet capabilities are reliable and seamless. Add creativity to that mix and one gets the complete package with Jamie Summers-Brown and his staff at Bricks without Straw.