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Family helped by community of volunteers

The story was heart- breaking.

Six kids were living in a van. Surrounded by filthy conditions, they stole food to survive, had few clothes and didn’t go to school. There was little hope for a future.

It was a tragedy occurring — not in someone else’s community — but right here in Charleston, W.Va. But this story has a happy ending, and we were honored to tell it.

MotionMasters volunteered its time and talents to produce a six-minute DVD this holiday season that shares the emotional, uplifting story of a local family whose lives were turned around thanks to a kind-hearted woman and Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha and Putnam County.

Donna King stepped in to provide a home for her six great nieces and nephews. Faced with cramped conditions in her small trailer, she applied for a Habitat home. Now she has a new place for the children — a safe, clean haven where they are thriving.

The story is just one of many happy endings written by Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha and Putnam County. Working with a host of volunteers, the group has built 118 homes for area families — all of whom have remarkable stories to share.

Making the video for Habitat for Humanity was a labor of love for MotionMasters, which has a long history of contributing its staff members’ time and talents to help nonprofit organizations.

The project had a special meaning to Company President Diana Sole, the video’s producer. Diana has been a Habitat volunteer for more than 17 years and is a member of the local group’s executive board.

Videographer Doug Morris spent long hours editing the project. And he had great stuff to work with. He and fellow videographer Wesley Poole captured captivating video to help tell the King family’s moving story.

MotionMasters also designed the DVD’s custom packaging. To tie together the holiday season and the mission of Habitat, Art Director Tony Campbell drew gingerbread men building a gingerbread house.

Campbell drew many separate illustrations in color pencil and then scanned them into the computer. Layer upon layer was used in Photoshop to create a three-dimensional world complete with a photo-realistic background, drop shadows and other enhancements. He really made the images pop off the page by dabbing Wite-Out around the edges of the drawings to create the appearance of frosting.

To integrate the package design into the video, he transformed Habitat’s logo (three figures with interlocking arms raising a roof) into a gingerbread men logo. The logo appears on screen with a closing message after another piece of Campbell’s artwork fades into the background — a fireplace with six stockings (representing the children in the video) and a twinkling Christmas tree.

The video is even more compelling because of the song it features — the powerful “A House, A Home” by Anna Wilson. Wilson was inspired to write the song after working on a Habitat for Humanity project in Nashville. Part of Habitat for Humanity International’s public service campaign, “A House, A Home” is ranked as one of the hottest new songs on iTunes.

Motion- Masters was pleased to be part of this wonderful project and hopes that it encourages more generous giving during the holiday season and beyond. With 5,000 copies of the DVD being mailed to Habitat supporters and our clients, we believe that more tragedies can be turned into triumphs — one family’s story at a time.

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