The New Playground is a Reality

IMG_0224More than 256 volunteers joined Family Abuse Center staff to build a playground in one day.  KaBoom organized the event and Blue Cross Blue Shield paid for the playground equipment.  It was a true festive occasion that even the cold could not dampen.  The DJ played upbeat music.  Blanek’s Catering provided the lunch and many other businesses donated food.  We all ate well and stayed warm working hard.

Tomorrow December 18, 2013 will be play day.  It will be the first day that our kids actually get to climb and swing on the playground.  They can’t wait.  There are no words adequate to say thank you to KaBoom, Blue Cross Blue Shield and all those wonderful volunteers.

Thank you Barnett Contracting!


Taking down the old playground
Taking down the old playground

Today Barnett Contracting brought in some equipment and a couple of wonderful workers.  With help from Manna Works, they removed the old playground and leveled the ground so that our site is ready for the new playground.  The Build Day for the new custom designed playground will be December 14.  To volunteer to help, contact amy.reagan@familyabusecenter.org.  Thank you Barnett Contracting!


KaBoom Build Day – December 14

Imagine putting together an entire playground in just one day.  Thanks to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Family Abuse Center will get a new playground for the kids at the shelter on December 14.  The day will begin with a rally and then more than 250 volunteers will spend their Saturday building the playground.

By 2 p.m. in the afternoon, we will dedicate the playground.  Sadly we can play on it until the concrete dries, but we can still celebrate this new structure.  Research repeatedly shows that imaginative play is essential to all kids.  Families living at the shelter live in close quarters with many different folks around all the time.  What a great place to have a state of the art, custom designed playground!

Join us by volunteering for that day.  Contact Amy Reagan (amy.reagan@familyabusecenter.org) to sign up to help.

KaBoom Playground

Family Abuse Center is so fortunate to be selected for a new playground on our property.  KaBoom is a national recognized organization whose goal is to promote play with playgrounds in partnership with high need communities across North America.  They have partnered with Blue Cross / Blue Shield to put in a beautiful new playground at our shelter. Our current playground was a gift from the Junior League many years ago and originally was located at previous Family Abuse Center site.  It was transplanted to our current location.  Some of the playground has been removed because it has fallen into disrepair.  Most of the playground doesn’t meet new safety standards.

So the first step in getting the new playground was in designing the playground.  More than 25 kids and their parents and staff joined together to think about what makes a great playground.  The kids then drew a playground that respresented what they really wanted: swings, slides, zip lines, animal habitats (yes, some of our kids wanted real live animals living on the playground) and much more.  Parents reflected on what play meant in their lives and what they remember about a great playground.  All their thoughts and feelings were recorded so that three custom playgrounds could be designed for our space.

Just this week the kids looked at the three designs and with the help of Ms. Brittany, our Children’s Coordinator, they selected the one they liked best.  And they recommended the colors for the new playground (purple and blue).

How can you help?  There are several ways to support this effort.  First of all, Family Abuse Center has to raise the matching funds to the generous support by Blue Cross/ Blue Shield.  We also need cash donations to help us with the side projects and the expenses of preparation that are required with the project.

Secondly, we need volunteers.  We need volunteers on the prep-days to get everything ready for the build-day. Build Day will be on December 14.  We need about 100 volunteers to help build, provide food for the volunteers and generally make it all happen.  The best way to volunteer is to contact Amy Reagan our volunteer coordinator: amy.reagan@famiyabusecenter.org.

Keep looking at our website for more information, as well as pictures of this wonderful event.  Just in case you are wondering, we are donating all useable playground equipment back to the Junior League to give to another Waco charity.