BDA CEO Talks "Secret Millionaire" Filming Experience
PM: BDA has been active in charitable work long before the filming of this episode. Did participating in the show and working with the three charities featured change your perspective on charity work at all?
JD: Giving back to the community has always been a part of the BDA culture. I wouldn't say Secret Millionaire changed our activism, but it definitely gave our charitable fire a little more fuel. Working with so many of these individuals over the course of the show made me realize that anyone can help even on a small level. Every year we host a Day of Difference at our company, encouraging each employee to take a day to volunteer with a charity in our community. It doesn't matter what you do, but it's important that everyone take the time to give back in one way or another.
PM: What was your biggest take-away from this experience, and why?
JD: The people. I'm still close with the volunteers I was able to meet while I was in Phoenix. I continue to work with MonaLou and Cup O'Karma to end domestic violence, and I'm in frequent contact with Coach Carlos from Heart for the City. He took the money I donated and started the Glendale Youth Project to serve even more youth in the Phoenix community. My company and I have been through a lot with the loss of Susan, but all of these incredible people I met face challenges every day that they're able to overcome. April, from A Stepping Stone, had such an impactful story; it's people like her, and everyone I met in Arizona, that show me how I can truly make a difference.
PM: Is there anything you'd like to tell our readers about BDA's charity work, either with regards to Susan or in general?
JD: BDA is passionate about making a difference. We started BDA Cares, a 501(c)3, to oversee all of our charitable efforts in order to develop partnerships and programs with fellow nonprofits that share our commitment to ending domestic violence and finding a cure for ovarian cancer. We've worked with countless programs and people, to make the biggest charitable impact we can as individuals and as a company. Susan's Rock, an initiative of BDA Cares, is dedicated to prevention of violence against women and children by supporting causes dedicated to strong education of young men, stronger empowerment and networks for women and stronger legislation and enforcement of our protective laws. We started Susan's Rock in honor of Susan, and we're striving to help support the millions affected by this epidemic.
PM: Do you have any recommendations for where readers could make other donations for domestic violence charities? What about those interested in volunteering?
JD: Cup O'Karma is always looking for donations, whether it's in the form of supplies, money or time. We also solicit donations during our annual BDA Cares fundraiser in January, called Rock the Needle, where BDA employees and community members climb all 848 steps from the base to the top of the Seattle Space Needle. With the money raised this year, we were able to fund the development of Susan's Youth Center at Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County, which is going to be the largest domestic violence housing facility of its kind in the state of Washington. I would also encourage those looking to volunteer to reach out to their state-level Coalition Against Domestic Violence to see where their time or resources are needed. To make donations toward our efforts against domestic violence, visit BDACares.org.
BDA has also released a video Q&A with Deutsch about the show. It answers many questions not addressed in this interview, and can be watched here.