More than 200 volunteers from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and The Salvation Army, organizers from KaBOOM! and residents of the local community joined forces on October 6, to build a new playground at The Salvation Army E. Claire Raley Transitional Living Center in Sacramento. The new playground’s design is based on drawings created by children throughout the community who participated in a Design Day event in August.
“This is an incredible playground for the children in this program,” said Major Ray Yant, Salvation Army Sacramento County Coordinator. “I’m thankful that so many came out on their own free time to volunteer and make this playground a reality.”
The Transitional Living Center is a 34-unit complex, which allows homeless families to stay from six months to two years. The new playground will provide children living with their families at the facility with a safe place to play. Prior to the project, the children play in the Transitional Living Center’s parking lot because they did not have a playground to enjoy.
Many residents from the program took a hands-on approach to the playground project, participating in the planning committee and the actual construction of the playground.
“Just to see the community come together with the blood, sweat and tears to make this happen is amazing,” said Greg, a program participant of the Transitional Living Center. “There have been times where it seems we haven’t been a community, but to see this come together gets me excited. I just can’t wait to see what the future holds.”
PG&E was the corporate sponsor this playground project, contributing more than $75,000.
“PG&E is proud to continue its PG&E Playgrounds program in partnership with non-profit KaBOOM!,” said Brandi Ehlers, PG&E spokesperson. “The impact of the program extends well beyond the playground construction. Parents and neighbors involved in the project planning process gain relevant and transferable skills, and access to play fosters happier, healthier children who perform better in school.”
KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to organizing playground projects, has also completed two other playgrounds with PG&E in Eureka and Bakersfield. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has mapped over 89,000 places to play throughout the country, built more than 2,100 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country.
“Today’s kids spend less time playing outside than any previous generation, in part because only 1-in-5 children live within walking distance of a park or playground,” said Katrina Hill, KaBoom! associate project manager. “This particular project was a wonderful experience. The residents of this program were incredibly excited, incredibly motivated and so enthusiastic. To see the playground go up today and to see the smiles on the children’s faces that was just icing on the cake.”