"Every child deserves a place to call home..."
The dark, cavernous room, illuminated only by two soft pools of light, used to be a roller-skating rink. A few identity changes later it became a Vietnamese market, then it took on new life as a church and ministry center serving East Charlotte's refugee community. On this boiling hot day in mid-July, it is a makeshift film studio where an unlikely cast of children are queued for their turn in front of the camera.
They're all Habitat Charlotte homeowners' kids, and most of them will soon be seen on TV in a series of public service announcements (PSAs) promoting Habitat for Humanity. Cable and network TV affiliates across America—including the six TV stations in Charlotte—will begin airing them this fall. Because PSAs generally run in unsold commercial time, one cannot know in advance when they will be scheduled.
The PSA project is the brainchild of Habitat for Humanity International's talented creative team in Atlanta, headed by senior director of storytelling Shala Carlson and video director Steve Childress. When Childress first saw photos of Habitat Charlotte children recommended for consideration in the PSAs, he accused the affiliate of "pushing the adorability meter until it breaks." Of course, we stand guilty as charged.
The 60-second version of the completed PSA is above, and one of the 30-second versions is below. Keep your eyes peeled this fall and winter for these PSAs to run on several local stations!