Save a Child’s Heart

2:50 minute animated video conceived as an educational primer, promotion, and engagement tool

  • Animation
  • Art Director
  • Writer
  • Producer

Music Composed and Performed by
Rehan Dalal

Narration by
Jillian Welsh


Save a Child’s Heart’s objective was to broaden their outreach and demographics — particularly on social media. They wanted an animated video to represent the organization and illicit an emotional response, but they did not want “poverty porn”.


The first step was research. We watched a lot of charity videos to figure out approaches we liked and didn’t like. Save a Child’s Heart provided me with TONS of info, and I interviewed team members for their personal stories about how they became involved.

I also executed research on charity marketing in general — which helped me realize that the narrative should be focused on value proposition. The message of the story is not trying to scare or guilt people into donating, it’s about presenting a positive working solution that people will want to become a part of.

Through all of this I was constantly doodling images and making notes. I didn’t want to focus on a concept for video until I felt comfortable with the material and understood the brand. I wanted to leave my mind open for ideas and I didn’t want to make any assumptions.

Explaining Save a Child’s Heart requires a lot of info, but to engage an audience we needed to tell a story, so I made sure to incorporate qualities in the visual design and narration to evoke a strong story-sense.

The children’s storybook style helped with that, and also made sense for the subject and tone. (The cutout style was also a time/cost-effective solution for the animation.) Designing the video to be all in one shot — moving left to right — was another strategy to add story structure by giving the viewer a visual direction.

To organize the info into a script I started with the most reductive 3 act story structure: 1) problem, 2) conflicts, 3) resolution. The tone needed a touch of humour to make it approachable. It had to be personal and sincere, but without losing a sense of authority. Podcasts like “This American Life” fit a lot of that criteria, and thinking about their tone and use of language helped me write the monolog.

I believe the preparation time was well worth it, because when I presented the script and concept it was unanimously approved and supported by the team. The script and storyboard circulated through the organization and we went back and forth with minor additions and details, mostly regarding the statistics and details about the language with their marketing team.


After the script was edited and approved I created detailed storyboards. All the animation was done using Adobe After Effects. Jillian Welsh performed the narration, and we collaborated on maintaining the correct tone. Rehan Dalal’s original score perfectly sets the mood and takes us through the emotions of the piece, while further enhancing the sense of narrative.


“Let’s Solve a Problem. Together.” currently has over 25,000 online views and is being translated for use in other countries. It is also used in live charity events and various presentations.

Concepts in this project have also influenced the development of the client’s branding in various ways. For example, the “journey” story and images like the paper plane are now being utilized as identifying marks in various ways brand-wide.

I should also note that I had amazing support and very positive collaborative process with Save a Child’s Heart’s whole team through the entire process, especially from their Executive and Assistant Directors.

This was one of the projects I’m most proud of and I’m thankful for the opportunity Save a Child’s Heart offered me.


Save a Child’s Heart Save a Child’s Heart is an international non-profit organization focused on improving the quality and accessibility of cardiac care for children in the developing world.

To date, they have saved 4,400 children from 58 countries in Africa, South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

National Post rated them in their top 10 charities of 2017, and in 2018 The United Nations presented them with the prestigious Population Award with special consultative status granted by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.