‘From Chaos to Calm’: Mission-Driven Matchfire Gives Heart House a Digital Makeover

A chance encounter led to a rebranding that's aiming to amplify Heart House's mission—empowering refugee children to thrive in their new home country—in a way that's approachable, colorful, and diverse.

Heart House, a nonprofit dedicated to serving refugee children in Vickery Meadow, recently partnered with brand design and digital marketing agency Matchfire in a major rebranding effort.

Now characterized by the tagline, “From Chaos to Calm,” Heart House was founded in 2000 and serves over 240 refugee children each year through holistic after school and summer programs. Committed to using education to boost well-being and promote equity, the Heart House curriculum integrates social-emotional learning and counseling to provide students a nurturing environment. 

CEO Lenita Dunlap said in a release there is a significant connection between social-emotional learning, improved academic performance, and mental health in children who have experienced trauma. And she has the numbers to back it up—students in Heart House K-8 programs have shown an average increase of 17% in reading fluency and a decreased need for SEL skill development from 45% to 6%.

Moved by their mission, Matchfire provided pro-bono services to Heart House for the branding refresh and website relaunch. According to Matchfire Managing Partner Brian Powell, approximately half of Matchfire’s work involves a nonprofit or social good component.

[Photo: David Loi/Matchfire]

The two companies connected, however, completely by chance. Powell’s son happened to attend the same school as a Heart House board member’s child. When approached to help with the rebrand, Powell arranged a meeting to get to know Dunlap’s team and ultimately connected deeply with her organization. 

Given the nature of pro bono work, there was a fear that Heart House may not be prioritized—but that never happened with Matchfire. “We all agreed upfront, ‘Hey, if we’re gonna do this together, let’s do it right. It’s not going to take just two weeks,'” Powell says. 

The collaboration took place over the course of several months, with the new logo and tagline launching in December and the new website in April.

“They took the time to capture the essence of who we are,” says Dunlap. “And they nailed it.”

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