West Virginia’s Sugar Grove naval base was closing, and the state had two major options of what to turn the land into next—another state prison or a career college for youth who age out of foster care. KVC Health Systems approached us to help them quickly rally support and fight for the latter.
We needed to create a website that would inspire and educate people to become champions for the cause and then equip them to turn others into champions. Ultimately, we needed to build some substantial public support in a short period of time so that key federal and state decision-makers would be influenced in KVC’s favor to build a college, not a prison.
The challenges of this project were many—the issue was complex, the timing was short, and the need dire. Whatever solution we arrived at needed to be simple and solution-focused. It needed to provide helpful information and make it easy for people to take action.
Providing Helpful Information
We boiled our message down to three key points and supported them with infographics, articles, reports, information on the proposed college, and endorsement letters from both national child welfare organizations and local authorities. A section of FAQs at the bottom helped to answer some of the most anticipated questions people might have for KVC.
Making It Easy to Take Action
A quick sign-up form automatically emailed a letter of support to legislators across the country. Supporters could also sign up for email updates or help spread the word on social with a short link to the campaign site and the hashtag #NeverStopCaring. A press kit was also available for download.
Laying the Groundwork for Future Success
While there wasn’t much time and this specific initiative didn’t pass, it helped lay the groundwork for the Riverbend Center Supporting Higher Learning in Montgomery, West Virginia. Set to open fall 2018, it will be the first college for youth emerging from foster care, which The New York Times has even written about. We’re proud to be a strategic partner and are excited to see how things develop.