Community Outreach: Why Home Depot Gives Back to Chicago Parks
Chicago Parks Foundation Auxiliary Board co-chair, Ariana Bennett, sat down with Satish Kumar, District Manager at Home Depot to learn a little about Home Depot’s community involvement initiatives and some of Satish’s takeaways from being the sponsor of the Chicago Parks Foundation’s It’s Your Park Day event in 2015.
Satish has been in the District Manager role at Home Depot for almost a year. As District Manager he places a high priority on giving back to the community by engaging Home Depot associates to make an on-the-ground impact through the Home Depot Foundation and Team Depot.
ARIANA: Satish, tell me about Home Depot's community goals.
SATISH: One of our core values at Home Depot is giving back to the community, which we do through the Home Depot Foundation. One of our key focuses nationally is veteran well-being and any related veteran projects, which we integrate into our community work. The Home Depot Foundation has invested over $100 million to address veteran needs across the country. In addition, at the local level, we can allocate resources to other projects. Our associates are really eager to give their time along-side community members so we look for projects that can get them involved in giving back.
A: How did you get connected to the Chicago Parks Foundation? What made it a fit for Home Depot?
S: There was a natural fit with the Chicago Park Foundation’s park beautification initiatives as well as the general health, well-being and green initiatives the Parks Foundation supports. I was connected with Irene, Chicago Park Foundation’s Director of Development, and saw a fit right away! I could give my associates an opportunity to spend community services hours outside, helping to beautify Chicago through the parks to help rejuvenate green space and playgrounds for kids and families.
A: What made It’s Your Park Day impactful for Home Depot?
S: In helping to give our city a face lift, I was able to get volunteers out and visible doing great work in Chicago in their orange Home Depot shirts. We don’t advertise the humble side of Home Depot, so I value getting to show my associates giving back, and doing so in a way that is directly related to our business. At It’s Your Park Day, our associates planted and mulched in parks throughout the city. It creates a connection between the community and The Home Depot when customers see our trucks delivering mulch and see our associates helping out.
A: Why do you believe in parks?
S: Investing in parks is investing in our future generation. I grew up in India, and I was constantly being kicked out of the house to play outside. I believe having access to green spaces has many positive health benefits.