We had the good fortune of connecting with Darla Shirley and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Darla, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
“Don’t Tell Me, Show Me.” These are five simple words that pack such depth of meaning. The phrase has proven timeless; I adopted it from my father over two decades ago. These five simple words discourage the “when” and “if” statements that often delay action, generosity, kindness, and follow-through. James 2:16 says, “If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” “Don’t Tell Me, Show Me” serves my team at Youth World well as they work with the children in our community, reminding them to lead by example. The phrase has created a culture of action at Youth World, reaching the kids as well, teaching them the importance of follow-through. We do not want to waste the precious time that we have been given by just talking about making a difference, serving our community, and following our passions. Instead, we want to show our talents, our gifts, and the kind of love that takes action! Aren’t small acts of compassion better than no acts at all? Aren’t small steps of improvement better than no steps? I believe that as we begin to show what we say, momentous things begin to happen. When I hear someone say, “When I have more money, I am going to support that mission,” or “If I had more time, I would get involved,” I respond with this: “Don’t Tell Me, Show Me!”

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
In 1998, I rented an old warehouse in Oak Cliff (near Bishops Arts before Bishops Arts was cool) and began feeding kids in our community. I had no idea that this act would develop into an organization, Youth World. For over 22 years now, Youth World has been impacting our youth, inspiring hope for their future and relieving economic burdens. Youth World is like street lights that illuminate a child’s pathway in a dark time. We believe every child has a God-given place in this world. We’ve helped thousands of kids stretch and reach for their potential and develop the leadership and character to keep them there!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The DFW area has a lot to offer. I would be sure my friend experienced the western flavor of the Ft. Worth Stockyards, the Dallas Cowboy Stadium, and sunder the Bishop Arts streets. I would be sure at least one meal was at the landmark La Ca Dolce.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am forever grateful to my father, Rev. Dwain Hobbs, who demonstrated a “servant’s heart” lifestyle. I am also forever grateful for all those who have come alongside me and Youth World; Board members, partners, staff, volunteers and parents. The impact we’ve been able to make the last 22 years in our community is because of their prayers and support.

Website: www.youthworld.org
Facebook: Youth World Darla Shirley
Other: youthworlddallas

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.