How do social change-makers work together to make greater impact? In this episode of Add Passion & Stir, host Debbie Shore talks with KaBOOM! CEO James Siegal and DC Chef Mike Friedman (Red Hen, All-Purpose) about focusing on teamwork and community to help those in need. Siegal speaks of the marginalization of many neighborhood institutions and how successful nonprofits must bring these entities together. “You can’t do it alone… It takes everyone rowing in the same direction to make change happen,” he says. Friedman sees parallels to running successful restaurants. “I fell into cooking because I love the team mentality. Restaurants are a team sport… I was enamored with the idea of being a part of something that was bigger than me,” he recalls.
KaBOOM! leverages corporate funding to strengthen communities, building more than 3000 safe playspaces across the country for kids living in disadvantaged communities. Each playground build day brings together community partners and hundreds of local volunteers for a moving community experience. “If you want to get to a place where kids are better off, you need strong communities and strong communities are cohesive, safe, and they have a sense of pride,” says Siegal. For Friedman, giving back is part of the role of being a chef, an active member of his neighborhood, and a successful business owner. “My passions lie with children’s needs,” he says, and demonstrates this by supporting organizations like Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign and March of Dimes.
Listen to this conversation about how teamwork can build strong communities and create lasting impact.