Dana Ciraulo Young ’83 has a love of media relations and knack for coming up with big ideas. She’s put those talents to use at Berkeley-based One World Play Project, a B Corporation company that promotes play as a way to help heal and rebuild communities devastated by war, disaster, disease and poverty.
“Play is something that many kids don’t get enough of because of lack of resources or places to play.
“One World Play Project makes, sells and distributes products and services to enable play around the world, especially for those living in the harshest environments where play is nearly non-existent. Collaborating with sponsors, organizations and individuals, One World Play Project works to support, enable and expand the transformative power of play in all its forms, anywhere and everywhere.
“I wanted to work for a company that did more than just sell a product,” she said. “Around the world and even in our own backyard, play is something that many kids don’t get enough of because of lack of resources or places to play. Essentially, with something as simple as a ball, we’re now able to help organizations around the world help individuals and communities to transform themselves and the world through play.”
Meeting a Need
One World Play Project has donated more than 1 million balls.
With the support of founding sponsor Chevrolet, a global network of partners and individuals, One World Play Project has donated more than 1 million balls since its founding in July 2010, impacting over 35 million children in more than 175 countries on six continents including girls who have suffered atrocities in Kenya, amputee victims in Sierra Leone, homeless youth living in the streets and sewers of Mexico City, and orphans in Thailand. Read more about these efforts…
“The millionth ball is an important moment for us, but it’s also just the beginning. We know that there’s so much more to do. We want to meet the global need for play, which is at least 80 times more than this extraordinary start,” One World Play Project co-founders Lisa Tarver and Tim Jahnigen said.
As PR Director for One World Play Project, Young is a key player in the effort to meet the need – and is an integral part of the movement to turn the world into a field of play.
She oversees and is responsible for communications strategy, planning and implementation, including messaging, media outreach, reputation and crisis management. She works closely with internal teams, domestic and international partners to raise awareness for the company mission, products, partner programs, executives and overall impact.
Young’s public relations career spans more than 20 years. She’s worked for a variety of companies, from small boutique PR consultancies to the multinational, Internet corporation Yahoo! Inc.
She joined One World Play Project some four years ago as a consultant, and was hired as a staff PR Director in October 2013. She shares the job with longtime PR colleague Jennifer Hwang.
The company’s emphasis on social responsibility and the fact that it is a B-Corporation was a major draw for Young.
B Corporations are a new type of company, which harness the power of business to ignite change and solve social and environmental problems, Young explained. To become certified as a B Corporation, One World Play Project had to pass a difficult and very detailed test to prove that it benefits people and helps the environment.
Launching Campaigns Around the World
Young has traveled the world on behalf of One World Play Project, helping to launch campaigns in Africa, Europe and South America, and in 2015 she is planning to head to the Middle East and Asia. She’s worked with former Malawi President Joyce Banda, soccer great Landon Donovan and Giants’ pitcher Jeremy Affeldt to distribute balls to organizations via their individual and/or team foundations.
The balls are not affected by use in harsh environments. “They’ve even been run over by tanks, and just pop back up.”
Sting provided the initial funding for the research and development of a prototype of the ball distributed by One World Play Project, and he continues to be an advocate and supporter of the project. “We’re so thankful he came aboard,” Young said.
Chevrolet stepped forward to become a founding sponsor of One World Play Project, pledging to donate and support the distribution of 1.5 million Chevrolet-sponsored balls to programs and schools in disadvantaged communities around the world. Together, One World Play Project and Chevrolet celebrated the donation of the one millionth Chevrolet-sponsored One World Futbol in South Africa (September 2014) and are collaborating to bring many more play opportunities to those who need it most.
But you don’t have to be a super star or major corporation to get involved, Young said.
Any individual around the world can buy a ball online through the Buy One, Give One program. For each ball purchased, One World Play Project will donate a ball to an organization working with children and youth in disadvantaged communities around the world.
One World Play Project also offers groups the opportunity to participate in campaigns in which they can raise balls to donate to organizations they support.
The balls come in five colors – blue, green, pink, orange and the Chevrolet-sponsored gold. Balls that are donated via the campaigns are blue – the UN color for peace.
And the balls are meant to last. They require no pump or needle and will never go flat, even if punctured. The balls are not affected by use in harsh environments. “They’ve even been run over by tanks, and just pop back up,” Young said.
“We’re using the power of play to help transform children.”
Young says working at a start up like One World Play Project is challenging because “you want to do so much, so fast to make sure kids get to play.”
But each and every day Young sees concrete results of her hard work. “We are giving kids the opportunity to dream and helping them see they can achieve whatever they set their mind to,” she said. “We’re using the power of play to help transform children, who we believe are our greatest natural resource.”
Adds Young, “What I’ve learned through this whole process is that the impact of play can’t be underestimated. It’s extremely critical to the health and well-being of children,” she said.
Young and her husband, Kaipo, are the parents of triplets, Ke’ale, Maile and Makana, who are in 7th grade.
Get more information about One World Play Project.