Meet The Link’s Cayla Grace Murphy

Cayla Grace Murphy is the new marketing coordinator, but a familiar face, at The Link of Cullman County. (Cayla Grace Murphy)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Link of Cullman County recently welcomed a familiar face to a new position. Cayla Grace Murphy is now over the nonprofit’s marketing efforts.  

Murphy is no stranger to nonprofit and community work. Beginning in her teens, she, along with a group of artist friends, would round up community volunteers and host fundraisers, auctions and supply drives for various organizations.

Her professional resume boasts tenures at the United Way of Cullman County and The Cullman Tribune, as well as in-depth volunteer service throughout the community and at The Link itself. Murphy is a former stay-at-home mother to 2-year-old River Jane, her daughter (or cat, or dinosaur or armadillo, depending on the time of day River herself is asked). When faced with the isolation of shared custody, the mother with idle hands began to put her hands to use with volunteer work. It was through her work with The Link and its food pantry, The Master’s Hand, that Murphy learned about the organization’s job opening.

“I came to The Link initially as a volunteer,” Murphy smiles. “I thought, with all this time on my hands, I should make good use of it. I started volunteering at The Link’s food pantry and was asked by our director Melissa Betts if I would be open to coming on staff to continue telling the stories of the people we help and highlight some of our helpers.”

Though her official title within the organization is marketing coordinator, Murphy wears many hats. From creating press releases and graphics to organizing and editing video content, her goal is always to spotlight the work being done at The Link and give the staff, volunteers and clients a voice in the community, something Murphy is passionate about.

“Marketing for a nonprofit can be difficult – it’s not like we’re advertising a physical product that you can hold in your hand. My job is to communicate our needs and the needs of the neighbors we serve by telling the stories of people we see every day and how we can help them. Not just as The Link, but as the community of Cullman at large,” she said.

Murphy believes bringing her real-world experience of being both a volunteer and a client will have a positive community impact for the organization. She noted that often there can be a disconnect between nonprofit workers and the clients they serve. The clients in need find it difficult to relate to the caseworkers; likewise, caseworkers can then find it hard to properly advocate if they’ve never actually been in the clients’ shoes.

“Having been both the worker and the client at different stages of my life, I think it makes me more primed to advocate and communicate effectively with our neighbors in need,” said Murphy.

As a young professional, Murphy said, she wholeheartedly believes that the nonprofit world is shifting toward a younger crowd. The Link of Cullman County’s staff consists mainly of individuals younger than 30. Murphy’s obligations at The Link are to make community work appealing to younger givers and helpers, creating the next group of community members willing to give back and make a difference.

“There is so much opportunity right here in our community to get the next generation involved,” Murphy shared. “I want to be one of the ones pulling them along to the front lines.”

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