Sparked by Passion: Volunteer Leaders Are The Engine that Empowers Non-Profits

By Simon H. Bloom, Esq. | Board Chair, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta

It all started with a spark of passion.

It was 1998. Brand new to Atlanta, brand new to the practice of law, and brand new to “adulthood,” I found myself seated at a table with Atlanta business leaders in Centennial Park.  I ate a hamburger, and a 10-year-old boy from the Pittsburgh community of Atlanta named Theo ate a steak. In fact, all of the adults ate hamburgers, and all of the kids ate steaks.  All of the adults were white and wore business suits.  All of the kids were Black and wore everyday school clothes.  It dawned on me at that moment how incredibly unfamiliar it must have been for Theo and his mates to find themselves in this setting.  Heck, even I felt a bit out of my element at first.  Imagine how these 10- and 11-year-olds from a vastly different background felt.  On the other hand, it was an amazing opportunity to bring these worlds together and allow each to teach the other, allow each exposure to the other.  For as much as it would enrich the lives of the kids, the enrichment for the adults would be ten-fold.  This was my first of 23 “Steak and Burger” events, where I realized two things: 1) I wanted to devote my free time to serving underprivileged youth in my new hometown, and 2) the Boys & Girls Clubs was the premier platform from which to do it.

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Sparked by Passion: Volunteer Leaders Are The Engine that Empowers Non-Profits