Words: Sarah Stone, Director and Founder of Stone Barrell

Love changes lives.
Helping children thrive in families this Christmas.

Kimberly’s awesome. She’s 11 years old and when she grows up she wants to be an influencer (much to her mum’s dismay). There’s still time for her to change her mind about that – but she absolutely smashed it on camera, so she might be onto something…

Stone Barrell met Kimberly when we were filming for Viva in Guatemala. We were in the country for our first-ever multi-organisation-content-gathering trip (you can find out more about our Guatemala pool in this blog), and Viva had commissioned us to gather content for their 2022 Christmas appeal. The focus of the appeal evolved while we were in Guatemala, and the final decision was to focus on Viva’s work in foster care and strengthening families.

It was a great choice and meant that we met some truly inspiring people.

One of whom was Kimberly. Foster care has totally transformed Kimberly’s life, and she now has the love of not just one, but two families! While there is a lot of sadness and trauma in Kimberly’s story, as there is for the many many children who enter the care system every year, in the appeal we really wanted to focus on the great things foster care has brought into Kimberly’s life.

While in Guatemala we met and interviewed three Viva-supported foster families, as well as Kimberly’s birth family and a church pastor. All these interviews and stories fed into the final concept for the 2020 Viva Christmas match appeal – My Family: Help children thrive in families this Christmas.

Viva My Family Christmas match appeal, direct mail

We loved working on this appeal with Viva. It’s a topic that’s close to our hearts here at Stone Barrell, and it’s one that is as relevant here in the UK as it is in Guatemala and across the globe. Universally, the best thing for children is to grow up in safe, loving families. And organisations like Viva are trying to make that possible – helping children stay in their birth families wherever possible, and supporting family-based care through fostering and adoption when it’s not.

At Christmas, a time when many of us look forward to spending extended time with our families, it’s a privilege to have the opportunity to help children like Kimberly thrive in families too.

Stone Barrell created the messaging, title and logo for the My Family appeal, wrote a direct mail appeal and three email appeals, and wrote and produced the My Family appeal video. We really hope it resonates with Viva supporters and raises funds to help more children thrive in families this Christmas and in the months and years ahead.

Find out more about Viva and check out the My Family Christmas match appeal at viva.org/christmasappeal

Interested in commissioning Stone Barrell to gather content from one of your overseas projects? Get in touch, we’d love to chat!