Arrels Fun­dació: card­board hearts for the homeless

Exhibited by
December 21, 2012
Medium of Communication
Direct mail, event, online, press advertising, radio
Target Audience
Regular gift, single gift, social change campaign, corporations
Type of Charity
Community & social services
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
December, 2012

SOFII’s view

An excellent use of online platforms, from a campaign microsite to Twitter. But this campaign from Arrels Fundació in Barcelona, Spain, didn’t abandon the more traditional route of direct mail and also made good use of street action: taking to the streets to help get young people off the streets.

Arrels Fundació (

Name of exhibitor

Sonia Flotats, coordinator, Sonia Flotats Communication, Marketing and Fundraising.

There are around 3,000 homeless people in Barcelona, 32 per cent more than four years ago, and around 800 sleep rough every night. This Christmas (2012), the Arrels Fundació launched the fundraising action ‘people with a heart’, to raise awareness about homelessness and the funds to provide housing for homeless people, to make sure that no one has to sleep on the street.


Arrels Fundació (Arrels Foundation – was started in 1987 and since then a team of professionals and volunteers have been working in the following fields: street programmes, day centres, access to housing, occupational workshops, access to general healthcare and for mental health problems.

Arrels Fundació also works to raise social awareness.

The common theme of the campaign is a cardboard heart with the message: #ningudormintalcarrer (nobodysleepingonthestreet). This symbolises sleeping on the street and the heart reminds us that homeless people also have hearts. By using the hashtag #ningudormintalcarrer (nobodysleepingonthestreet) in the design, a combination of online and offline action is achieved. The online campaign starts from the and gets broader through Twitter and Instagram, with the hashtag #nobodysleepingonthestreet, and on Facebook, through Picbadges and the option of attaching the heart of the campaign in our profile.

The offline campaign is focused on direct mail to the organisations’s donor base. Also, to make homeless people visible Arrels’ volunteers, professionals and homeless people walked through the main streets and tourist attractions of Barcelona for a week carrying huge cardboard hearts. The objective was also to encourage people to reveal their hearts and join the cause. For that purpose, little cardboard hearts have been made that convert into beautiful Christmas decorations.

The campaign has been furthered in the media by a radio slot in which a real user of Arrels talks about his personal experience. Cardboard hearts made by people who use Arrels have been sent to some leading journalists with the request that they wear them when they are on screen. 

Special characteristics

The fantastic cardboard hearts.


It is an original campaign that combines on and offline strategy and it has had a lot of impact on the streets of Barcelona.

The campaign was managed by Arrels Fundació and supported by the communication agencies (coordination), La Plaza de Pérez (creativity and graphic design) and Ondho (online development). For more information contact the head of communication at Arrels Fundació, Olga Garcia