A Suitcase Makes a Case Against Domestic Violence

May 8, 2011 Solicitation Appeal


MGD’s passion has always been to raise the exposure and promote the services of non-profit organizations who seek to change the world—in ways both big and small. Each organization offers vital services to their constituents for which we create visual identities and marketing collateral.

Regardless of their mission, they all have one thing in common: They need money.

Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia (JFCS) relies on direct mail fundraising appeals to support their Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention program. This year, we worked hand-in-hand with them to develop a theme and a graphic approach. We created a visual framework in which we tell the true story of a women who was, at one time, abused but now protected, thanks to the life-saving services of JFCS.

The story was delivered to us by an unexpected young voice. A preschool boy named Jeremy describes how his mother, who has suffered years of abuse by his father, had him pack a secret suitcase so he’d always be prepared to leave if things got bad. One night, their greatest fear becomes a reality. They are forced to flee with suitcase and Jeremy’s bear in hand.  His story is heart-wrenching.

To symbolize their dramatic flight to safety, we took Jeremy’s story and that of his mother and wove them into an eight-page appeal in the shape of a child’s suitcase. It opens into several compartments featuring hand-drawn illustrations of Jeremy’s youthful possessions. Notepaper and photos help to tell of a harrowing ordeal that ends in freedom from violence. JFCS’ vital role in the current and future stability of this family is the foundation for the “ask,” which appears as a perforated card on which recipients can indicate their donation amount.

It was easy for us to get lost in hours and hours of illustration, but the impact of this type of work far outweighs the joy of creation. Compelling people to act is a critical role of visual communication and one that our studio embraces with each creative project, including appeals such as this one.

To make a donation to support this program, click here and choose Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention from the drop-down menu.

See more views of this direct mail appeal under Promotional.