On Thursday May 2nd and Friday May 3rd, more than 150 volunteers came together to build a playground for the Greater Dover Boys & Girls Club. What began as a Let’s Play Community Construction Grant award, turned in to so much more for this Greater Dover Club and community.
In a coordinated effort to coincide with the 18th year of Comcast Cares Day, volunteers from NASCAR, Lowe’s, DelDot, United Way, Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, Dover Federal Credit Union, Comcast NBCUniversal, and more, joined forces to build a spectacular outside space and structure to serve as a healthy, safe, outlet for childhood energy that our Club kids possess. “We are firm believers that corporations have a responsibility to give back to the communities where their employees and customers live and work and to partner with local governments, organizations, and nonprofits to make our communities stronger,” stated David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast NBCUniversal
Volunteers jumped right into the project, working together to make the project happen. There was digging, building, planting, painting, and more taking place throughout the 6+ hours of service. During the day of services, the kids were so excited about the project that they were looking out the window all afternoon just watching the volunteers work and thinking about how excited they are to play on their new playground.
The organizing of this community event began back in November 2018 when Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) and the national non-profit KaBOOM! awarded Greater Dover Boys & Girls Club a Let’s Play Community Construction Grant to build a playground at the Boys & Girls Club in Dover. The community build day requires hundreds of volunteers from local businesses and the surrounding communities to complete the project.
The playground build is made possible by Let’s Play, an initiative by KDP to provide the funding, equipment and play spaces to help kids and families make active play a daily priority. Through Let’s Play, KDP and its partners are committed to helping create safe and inspiring PLAYces for Club kids to learn, explore, grow and just be kids. The grant will build a school-age playground.
According to KaBOOM! “Only one in four kids in the US are getting the recommended daily amount of physical activity. That means, in a class of 20 students, only 5 are truly able to be a kid for just one hour each day. Children are not playing at home, they are not playing in schools, and they are not playing in their communities. Play is an equity issue, too. For the 14 million kids living in poverty, play is too hard to come by as their families face many obstacles to play; from a lack of safe places, under-resourced schools that cut recess and physical education, and too much screen time.”
The Greater Dover Boys & Girls Club serves more than 1,000 kids a year. The playground will be the avenue for Club kids to enjoy physical activity and outdoor play in a safe, structured environment. “A hallmark for Boys & Girls Clubs is our ongoing commitment to safety and health lifestyles,” said Jake Getty, Executive Director of Boys & Girls Club of Greater Dover. “We have an obligation to make sure the kids who spend time with us are achieving social, emotional and physical wellness and we are working every day to create a safe, fun, environment where kids can enjoy structured fun. This playground just adds to the overall Club experience.”
“The building of this playground represents the best of our communities and the collective power of individuals and businesses working towards a common goal – which in this case is improving the lives of children,” said John Wellons, President & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware. “Having institutions like NASCAR, Comcast and Lowes come out and support this playground demonstrates these companies understand that Boys & Girls Clubs are essential places in kids’ lives, and by investing their time and their resources in our Clubs is an investment in the future of their communities.”