Good Design. Positive Change.
Wheelhouse Collective

Heartland Family Service

A hand-stitched poster campaign spreads the word about an empowering nonprofit.


Elderly stitchers partner to promote good works

The concept and design for their brand awareness campaign was created from Heartland Family Service’s positioning statement of “Good works.” HFS operates a shelter that cares for those in need—and the organization also teaches people how to overcome their problems so they can live better lives. To promote their empowering work, we developed a modern interpretation of the Chinese proverb, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”


The goal was to raise awareness of the services and programs that Heartland Family Services offers to both the community in need and to the potential donor population.


We took the proverb, “Give a man a fish,” and reflected it in a very unexpected, yet traditional way. We engaged the mad embroidery skills of some talented women at the senior center for this project. First, we wrote new “fish phrases,” and designed patterns and custom graphics. Then we had the senior center volunteers—women ranging in ages from 72 to 93—embroider them. The finished pieces were styled in “home sweet home” like settings, photographed and designed into posters that were displayed all over the city. This project was beyond rewarding.


design, copywriting, illustration, embroidery, photography


Creative Director: Marty Amsler
Co Art Director: Dave Markes
Design: Cathy Solarana
Copywriting: Rainbow Rowell
Photography: Scott Dobry
Embroidery: Betty Chapman, Rita Chizek, Anna Ochoa, Josie Olsulfka and Carolyn Thiele

Project done by Wheelhouse founder while at Bailey Lauerman