Grant #49

Take A Seat, Make A Friend

January 20, 2014

What happens when two strangers sit in a ball pit… and talk about life’s big questions?

Fulbright Program Manager by day, roller derby girl and community service junkie by night, Ali Edelstein has a knack for bringing people from different cultures and communities together.

Her most recent undertaking will make you want to book a flight to Belgium so that you can experience her re-creation of Soul Pancake’s “Take a Seat, Make a Friend.”

“Take a Seat, Make a Friend” involves turning a large wooden crate into a ball pit with questions written on each of the balls. There’s enough room for two people to sit in the crate and talk to each other at a time. For one day each month, the ball pit will “hit the streets” and relocate to new areas in Brussels where strangers can plop down to talk about life’s big questions inâ a freestanding pit of colorful plastic balls!

For those a little wary of hopping into this pit of awesomeness, Ali and her team will also set up a second project with hot chocolate and paper slips with questions similar to those in the pit.

We’re excited to see this project inspire friendships, build community, and move people to get involved in this year’s Serve the City projects by the time the 10th annual Big Volunteer Week rolls around in July.

We’re all hoping “Take a Seat, Make a Friend” shows up locally in our neighborhoods so we can take a dive! But until then, stay in touch with Serve the City Brussels on Facebook and see how Ali’s project unfolds!

*Photo credit: SoulPancake

Update 7/17/14: Ali Edelstein hosted the “Take a Seat, Make a Friend” project on April 27, 2014 (see new photos!) at MuntPunt (Brussels’ Flemish public library) and “had a great time watching the craziness and friendships unfold as people of all different nationalities jumped in an adult-sized ballpit.” Stay tuned for more updates because Ali and her team are planning to re-create the popular Soul Pancake video!

Category: Community, Volunteer



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders