When I tell people I work for an organization that helps communities build playgrounds they get excited with ‘awww’s and ‘oooo’s. I then show off a bit and tell them First Lady Michelle Obama participated in not one, but two playground builds back in June during our 2,000th playground build celebration. At this point their eyes light up and their ears become tingly with interest to learn more about this fantastic organization that, along with its generous funding partners, is making huge strides to eradicate the play deficit– or shortage of play spaces throughout the United States.
What’s the name of the organization I work for you ask? The name of the organization is….KaBOOM!
I must admit before working at KaBOOM! I took for granted what having a playground means for a child. I also could not fathom what building a playground could do for a community. But now that I’m here, I get it. I get that kids just want to play and have a place to do it. I also get that when you give communities the tools to change their children’s lives, it’s mind-blowing how well they work together. And so, what compels me to go into work day after day is the tangible difference I see us making throughout our nation’s underestimated yet most determined communities.
During my first week of work at KaBOOM!, I observed a playground build in West Philadelphia for the West Kensington Boys & Girls Club and Cramp Elementary School. While taking pictures of the eventful day, I took some time to speak with a few residents of the community. I learned locked playgrounds and graffiti ruined murals were the norm there. However, what KaBOOM! was doing by bringing folks together to build a playground was simply unprecedented for the neighborhood. Thirty-five year resident, Ms. Carmen, shared with me the joy she was seeing on her block made her simply, speechless. And, she added, the kids would now have an open, available playground- something they’ve never had but needed for years! *tear*
KaBOOM! helps to build playgrounds, changes communities and makes dreams come true for millions of children. This holiday we are asking you to Play It Forward by making a donation- small or large- to help us build more playgrounds for kids who need a place to play. By Playing it Forward with us you’re also helping to bring communities together so they will be better equipped for the next generation!
Oh, yes, and HAPPY TOFURKEY DAY!!!!! (that’s Thanksgiving for those you don’t speak Tofurkey)