Darell Hammond talks about KaBOOM! and how to give kids the childhood they deserve.

When Darell Hammond was two years old, his father left and never came back. Left with eight children, his mother tried as hard as she could, but couldn’t make it work, sending Darell to a group home thousands of miles away to be raised. After dropping out of college years later, he read in a newspaper about two children who had crawled into an abandoned car to play in the shade, only to suffocate and die.

Darell didn’t set out to start an organization. He just wanted to give those two children the playground they deserved. A playground that if they had had, maybe would have kept them from crawling into a car to play, leading to their deaths.

Eighteen years later, Darell is still building playgrounds and just completed his 2,416th as of this talk. Looking for deserving communities around the country, Darell works with KaBOOM! to ensure that every child gets the childhood they deserve.

About the speaker

Darell Hammond is the Founder and CEO of KaBOOM!, a not-for-profit based in Washington, DC dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by ensuring they get the balance of active play they need to become healthy and successful adults. Hammond wrote the New York Times bestseller KABOOM! A Movement To Save Play (Rodale, April 2011; paperback, September 2012). Founded out of Hammond’s apartment in 1996, KaBOOM! has raised $250 million, rallied a million volunteers, led the hands-on construction of 2,400 playgrounds, and inspired a movement for the child’s right to play. Hammond has been named an Ashoka Fellow, Schwab Social Entrepreneur by the World Economic Forum and has been awarded the American Express NGEN Leadership Award by Independent Sector and the Satter Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award by New York University’s Stern School of Business. Hammond lives in Washington, DC with his wife Kate Becker.

Favorite quotes from this talk See all

I stand here as a fourteen product of philanthropy, of charity, of community giving me a bear hug and having an opportunity to succeed although my circumstances were less fortunate. — Darell Hammond

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