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I like narrative storytelling as being part of a tradition, a folk tradition.

Bruce Springsteen
Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.

Seth Godin

Poverty Encounter

Children’s Hunger Fund (CHF), a nonprofit in California, wanted create a fully-immersive experience that would bring visitors face-to-face with the reality of poverty.

Rather than showing a predictable training video before entering the warehouse, they wanted to take volunteers and guests on an eye-opening journey of insight, empathy, and action.

CHF’s Poverty Encounter is a walk-through attraction recreating the experience of visiting impoverished communities and telling the true stories of the suffering children who live there.

PlainJoe worked with CHF to develop an experiential sequence of encounters around the key objectives that CHF felt were important for telling its story well.

  • Real-Life Situations. Depict situations that truly reflect the heart-wrenching circumstances children face every day, such as the garbage dumps of Guatemala, displaced peoples camps in Southeast Asia or the brickyards of Nepal.
  • Believable. Build the highest standard of realism into the scenes and set pieces with Disney-level immersion, including authentic materials to sound effects.
  • Solutions. Show visitors how food and other resources provided through local ministries creates opportunities for hope despite dire circumstances.

Hand-in-hand with the CHF team, we created realistic set designs, mind-blowing immersion, and an emotionally captivating storyline that would carry throughout the entire exhibit.

The experience concludes in CHF’s volunteer warehouse where visitors are invited to take immediate action building food boxes for families in need.

The Poverty Encounter opened at the Children’s Hunger Fund global distribution center in Los Angeles in 2018.

Read Mel McGowan’s full article about CHF’s Poverty Encounter in Outreach.