Darell Hammond, founder of KaBOOM!, is the prime example of how one vision can go a long way. Under Hammond's leadership as CEO, KaBOOM! has raised more than $200 million, rallied over a million volunteers, led the hands-on construction of over 2,000 playgrounds, and stimulated a movement for the child's right to play.
Hammond grew up with seven siblings at Mooseheart Child City & School, a group home outside of Chicago. The home instilled in him principal character traits, generosity and kindness, and taught him the importance of volunteerism.
After reading a Washington Post article about two children dying from being trapped in an abandoned car due to the lack of safe places to play in the community in 1995, the importance of community service and helping those less fortunate get a head start inspired Hammond to build a playground and start KaBOOM!, the DC-based, national non-profit organization, supporting the construction of playgrounds in low-income communities across the U.S.
KaBOOM!: A Movement To Save Play
To help start the conversation and educate Americans about the importance of play in children's lives, Hammond wrote KABOOM!: A Movement to Save Play (Rodale, April 2011). Available for purchase on Amazon and IndieBound (with 100% of author proceeds going to KaBOOM!), his powerful story is the tale of a man, and a movement, both born out of tragedy. In this social entrepreneur's inspiring journey, readers are instructed on how to take action in their own communities and given tangible steps to make a difference.
Hammond's story demonstrates how one idealist can change the world and how small, civic-minded steps can create a ripple effect that can transform communities and eventually the world. From growing up in a group home, to founding the national non-profit dedicated to saving play for America's children, KaBOOM! is more than just a memoir. It is a call for action that inspires through challenging traditional notions of community and social change.