Offering incredible insight into the history and work of the Assistance League, a national nonprofit organization with over 120 chapters in the United States dedicated to helping communities through philanthropic programs, “A Pebble in the Pond” is a remarkably special documentary that will inspire you with its sweeping depiction of how the organization has made a difference in the lives of children and adults across the country.
Directed by Paul Howard, the feature length documentary opens with the wonderful Ann Benson getting into her car in a Los Angeles parking garage. The viewer rides along in the passenger seat not knowing where Ann is taking them but feeling excited that the journey, wherever it may lead, is going to be a memorable and extraordinary experience.
This feeling does not disappoint.
Arriving at Universal Studios Hollywood, viewers find themselves in the midst of Operation School Bell, the Assistance League’s signature program that provides children with clothing, backpacks, books, and other basic necessities.
What follows is the incredible saga of pioneering women who recognized the needs of others in their communities and how acts of kindness, no matter how small, can make a world of difference.
Benson serves as host of “A Pebble in the Pond,” uncovering the origins of Operation School Bell and the Assistance League’s other programs while introducing viewers to the selfless individuals behind the scenes at the organization and, in some of the film’s most moving moments, those whose lives have been helped by the Assistance League’s initiatives.
It is heartwarming, inspiring, and precisely the film you need to rekindle your faith in humanity.
Interwoven throughout the film are animated sequences narrated by Karis Campbell that reveal the roots of the Assistance League and the story of its founder Anne Banning. Enchanting to watch, these clever animations serve as the perfect vehicle through which to educate viewers in a way that is captivating, approachable, and further builds one’s appreciation.
Some of our favorite scenes in “A Pebble in the Pond” are those captured at the Operation School Bell event. The excitement of the children as they get new shoes and other necessities is beautiful and moving to see. While hearing from the volunteers, including officers from the LAPD, generates some really nice down-to-earth moments of connection.
This is what makes “A Pebble in the Pond” so special. The connections and humanity it shows.
During the film we hear from individuals who have benefited from the Assistance League’s programs. The scope of what the organization does is eye-opening. Hearing the individuals’ heartfelt stories of how they were helped and shown kindness during some of their most vulnerable moments is powerful and often emotional.
The message behind “A Pebble in the Pond” is that we each have the ability to make a difference. Individual actions can lead to tremendously great outcomes. Informative and uplifting, “A Pebble in the Pond” is victorious in restoring one’s faith that goodness and kindness still prevail in society. The Assistance League does profound work in communities across the country. “A Pebble in the Pond” ignites in us the belief that when we step outside ourselves we each have the ability to do profound good too.
“A Pebble in the Pond” is available to watch on VOD (iTunes, Prime Video, and YouTube). To learn more about the film and the Assistance League, visit: APebbleInThePondFilm.com and AssistanceLeague.org.