We had the good fortune of connecting with Kimberly Haley-Coleman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kimberly, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
When stuck abroad on business over weekends, I sought meaningful, organized short-term volunteer experiences, and just couldn’t’ find any. When I started pulling together my own, I found so many others wanted to do these alongside me, that there was clearly a demand for these programs. Doing good is quite naturally one of the best ways to feel good.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Before Globe Aware, there were no organizations that offered short-term organized experiences abroad that were a good fit for most working North Americans. Most were geared toward high school and college students with weeks or a whole summer to burn, and were fairly unstructured, with the thought that you would eventually find out how to use your own time. Our culture is focused on productivity and making the most with the small amount of free time most of us have. This is at odds with the perspective in many cultures, especially those cultures that have less material resources. Therefore the big challenge was to find a way to tailor such experiences that would be provide a meaningful, productive opportunity to give back but would also NOT infringe on the local/receiving culture/way of life. Our staff coordinators in each country are the key to finding this balance. Additionally, the lions’ share of our peers in this industry will not used donated funds toward materials in the thought that it creates local dependency. We do not agree. Funds can be spent in a way that enable capacity rather than create dependency. As an example when we assemble and donate wheelchairs to landmine victims in Cambodia, they are given mobility in a way that allows them to support themselves. That is the magic win-win we week.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Hands down, the Dallas Arboretum is my favorite place to take locals. It is such a glorious spot, every day of the year. I love that you can bring a picnic and your own wine and on certain “cool Tuesdays and Thursdays” listen to music and watch the sunset over downtown in the distance. For a meal, I also love taking out of towners to Pecan Lodge for the best bacon infused, sinful macaroni and cheese ever, and that ridiculously amazing brisket!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am so grateful my tribe supported me, from my family to my friends, neighbors, and past colleagues. So many people stepped forward to help publicize my organization, I certainly would not have succeeded without them. I was shocked that we got so much media coverage. I remember early on when the NBC Today show did a story on us, without our knowledge. It really made me think that when you do something the world needs or wants, they then the world will enable you.
All by Globe Aware staff, no credits needed