June 11, 2008

Darell Hammond to receive 2008 National Jefferson Award

American Institute for Public Service
100 West 10th Street, Suite 215
Wilmington, DE 19801-1665

Contact:
Jonathan Peters
National Director
(302) 295-0532
j.peters@jeffersonawards.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Darell Hammond to Receive 2008 National Jefferson Award

WASHINGTON D.C., - Darell Hammond will receive the Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged on Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 7 p.m. in East Hall, Union Station.  Selected by the Jefferson Awards’ prestigious board of selectors, Darell was chosen for a 2008 Jefferson Award for his advocacy on issues concerning children and community redevelopment.

Darell grew up with seven brothers and sisters at Mooseheart, a group home outside of Chicago.  At Mooseheart, Darell witnessed first hand the amazing contribution volunteers could make in the life of a child and decided to dedicate himself to volunteer service.

In August 1995, shortly after moving to Washington, D.C., 24-year-old Darell Hammond read a story in the Washington Post about two local children who suffocated in an abandoned car because they didn’t have anywhere else to play. Darell, who had previously helped build several playgrounds for other organizations, realized this tragedy could have been prevented and started KaBOOM!, a national non-profit that empowers communities to build playgrounds.  KaBOOM! organizes communities and provides them with an achievable win by leading them in building a playground in one day using all-volunteer labor.  Once communities have completed a KaBOOM!-led playground build, they’re able to take the knowledge they’ve gained from the process to take on other projects.  Since its inception in 1995, KaBOOM! has raised more than $100 million and rallied more than 241,000 volunteers to support the cause of play.

Today, KaBOOM! is recognized as a leader among social entrepreneurial organizations and Darell has become a well-known spokesperson for the cause of play. KaBOOM! and Darell have won numerous awards for national service, innovation and leadership including:  Honorary Doctorate, Ripon College; Children's Mental Health Award, NARSAD; President's Volunteer Service Award; Power and Influence Top 50, non-profit Times; Washingtonian of the Year, Washingtonian magazine; 40 under 40, Crain's Chicago Business ; and the Making a Difference Award, Diet Coke.

In addition to his work with KaBOOM!, Darell serves on the Board of Directors of Independent Sector and Hands on Network and in 2003 was elected as an Ashoka Fellow for being a leader in social entrepreneurship.  

ABOUT THE JEFFERSON AWARDS

In 1972, the Jefferson Awards for Public Service were founded by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr. and Sam Beard to create a Nobel Prize for public and community service. The Jefferson Awards are presented on two levels: national and local. National award recipients are a “Who’s Who” of American history makers. Four Supreme Court Justices have been honored including Thurgood Marshall and Sandra Day O’Connor; seven Secretaries of State including Cyrus Vance and Colin Powell; three first ladies: Barbara Bush, Rosalyn Carter and Betty Ford; as well as Alan Greenspan, Bob Hope and Lance Armstrong, among over 100 others.

Through Jefferson Awards Champions, the Jefferson Awards honors outstanding employees and retirees who volunteer.  We currently work with nearly 30 organizations across America on the Champions program.   Through the Jefferson Awards Media Partners we honor grassroots unsung heroes.   Working together with 135 Media Partners in 76 DMA’s we honor these unsung heroes all across America.   Through the Jefferson Awards Youth Service Initiative we are working in America’s High Schools to double student volunteerism in America. 

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