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So, yeah, baby Dwayne is pretty darn cute. We love seeing him this way: happy, secure, and with a great opportunity to beat the systemic forces of homelessness among women and children in St. Louis. We love that Gateway180 entrusts us with the weighty work of helping to ensure that people know about, and respond generously to, the homelessness problem in St. Louis. Having recently produced Gateway180′s annual report, we turned our attention to a new website, which we designed and created from the ground up. Our hope with this website upgrade was to faithfully represent the spirit of Gateway180 while making sure to do more than make people smile at pretty pictures. We love when people smile at pretty, of course, but the goal of website design is to move people to action—in this case, to give to Gateway180 in the form of service, finances, and materials.

No matter where you are on the website, you’re reminded that the beautiful faces that you see are beautiful because they have hope. And they have hope because people have been generous to give. It would have been easy to design the website with the goal of making people feel sad in the hopes of getting them to do something, but we believe that humans are moved to act generously and faithfully and consistently not out of a sense of guilt or sadness but from a sense of gratitude. Gratitude for what? Among other things, for organizations like Gateway180 that care enough to help; for the fact that with a different set of circumstances completely out of our control, that could just as easily be you or me needing help; for living in a city and community that values mercy and kindness.

There’s a lot more to say, of course, but nothing more important than that we genuinely consider it a gift to know the people at Gateway180 and to be involved with their efforts. And that’s why we donate our own time in the form of annual reports and e-blasts and websites—because we’re grateful.

It was with that spirit of gratitude that we attended Gateway180′s recent Open Your Heart for the Homeless gala, where we were thanked (unnecessarily and graciously) for our work. We were given a lovely framed photo set that included a note of thanks. In that note, Gateway180 thanked us for helping “tell the story of women and children experiencing homelessness in St. Louis.” We love telling stories. Whether we’re doing traditional food marketing or designing a website for a charitable organization, we believe that telling a story faithfully and beautifully is what will inspire people to act. That’s what the best stories do, and that’s what we always hope to do for every single one of our clients.

Jeremy Higgins
Jeremy Huggins is a MarketPlace alum. He oversaw our creative and writing teams, led naming projects, and ensured that all of our brand development work is thorough, thoughtful, and meaningful.