November 22, 2017
The recent plague of natural disasters has taken a serious toll on the US. Fortunately, relief efforts and charitable donations have been plentiful, leading to a restoration effort that has instilled some much-needed faith in humanity. However, while places like Austin, Napa Valley, and South Florida rebuild, getting life back to normal has been hard, particularly for children displaced from home. Fortunately, one company is trying to make things fun again after natural disasters.
KaBOOM! is a national organization that is dedicated to bringing play back to kids in need. By building places to play in areas that need it, they are bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids. And, in areas hit by natural disasters, that kind of dedication matters.
“We know from experience that when kids play, they rebound faster and are able to return to everyday life more quickly,” said Roxane Rucker, vice president of community impact at KaBOOM! “That’s why we’re committed to supporting kids and communities impacted by disaster by building safe spaces for kids to get the play they need to thrive.”
In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, KaBOOM! made relief a priority in Southeast Texas by building a playground for Gray Elementary School just four weeks after it touched down. And if you ask anyone, you’ll realize how much of an impact they made on the community and the kids in it.
“I didn’t realize a playground would make such a big difference for my child, but it actually does,” said Rosalia Martinez, paraeducator at Gray Elementary. “After the hurricane, some of the kids may question who’s really there for them. Seeing us build this new playground, it makes them feel like, ‘Wow, they actually care about us. They think about us. What we need and what we like.'”
This kind of effort is invaluable after these kinds of natural disasters. Rebuilding homes and renovating infrastructure is one thing. But kids don’t understand the intricacies of government programs and relief funds; they just want to play. KaBOOM! helps them do that in a way that supports the community and provides relief.
If KaBOOM! sounds familiar to you, you’re likely a fan of the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation. An episode in 2009 showcased the company, as they helped Leslie Knope and the rest of the Pawnee gang to build a playground in the local park. Just goes to show how far a little volunteerism can go in rebuilding a community.
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