Franktown Open Hearts “Connecting the Dots”
The city of Franklin, located in Williamson County, Tennessee, is nationally known for its historic downtown area and has been recognized as the “Best Small Town in Tennessee.” Yet, only one block away from this flourishing area of Southern hospitality sits government-subsidized housing.
Franktown Open Hearts, a 501(c)(3) organization, was established to bring spiritual and physical hope to Williamson County’s inner city youth by “being Jesus” in their lives and teaching them critical life skills. Each night, its staff and volunteers provide transportation, hot meals and spiritual, Christ-centered mentoring through tutoring, Bible study, life skills training and recreation.
Over 90 percent of the children it serves do not live with their biological fathers, and the majority live in a family that has been on welfare or government assistance for generations. Most live in neighborhoods that are subjected to gang violence, drugs and prostitution.
Challenges / Objectives / Implementation
In 2014, DVL Seigenthaler offered to provide its broadcast, creative and event management expertise to the organization to help the nonprofit meet its objective of educating the local community about how they can help “connect the dots” for the children of Franktown. The banquet hall where the event was held was decorated with dots, reminding attendees that they represent a “dot” in the children’s lives, and that it is their responsibility, whether through money or volunteer efforts, to help find ways to connect the kids to greater opportunities for their future.
For the video, DVL Seigenthaler spoke with those who are directly impacted by the group’s work – the children. Franktown agreed that the children’s genuine, authentic comments and thoughts would be powerful visuals on the video — and they were.
After the video played at the event for the 300 attendees, all the children from Franktown were on stage to represent the “real dots” the community was connecting.
The 300 people who attended the event donated more than $90,000, which went directly to the organization’s operating fund. Those funds enabled Franktown to purchase meals, offer programs and provide travel opportunities for the children.