Philanthropy Friday: The Importance of Play

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer.

KaBOOM! is all about playing. Their vision is to have a “place to play within walking distance of every child in America.”

A national non-profit, KaBOOM! creates great playspaces through the participation and leadership of communities. They focus on three main things: building playgrounds, encouraging play and mapping the “state of play.”

KaBOOM! was officially founded in 1996 in the back of a deli in Washington DC. The idea came after founder Darell Hammond read an article about two kids suffocating from playing in an abandoned car because they didn’t have a safe place to play.

According to the website, “KaBOOM! has raised more than $200 million, rallied a million volunteers, led the hands-on construction of over 2,000 playgrounds, and inspired a movement for the child’s right to play.”

With the rise of obesity in America, it’s refreshing to see an organization focused on the simple task of playing outside. I was struck by a video posted on the KaBOOM! blog about a new study that shows today’s children are on track to be the first generation with a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

A stat on the KaBOOM! website noted that, since the 1970s, children have lost about 12 hours per week in free time, including a 25% decrease in play.

What are we doing to our kids? Let’s bring play back!

I am fortunate to live in a downtown area where we have several decent playgrounds within walking distance of our house. We really don’t have any good excuse for not going outside and playing. Even in the winter, one of our playgrounds turns into a great sledding area.

If you do live in or near an area void of good playing areas, it’s nice to know KaBOOM! is available to help plan, fund and build a playground. 

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  1. says

    Amen to playgrounds! And I agree that every child should have one within walking distance! Kids need to move! It’s a necessity. I think it’s great that you devote a day each week to feature a “good cause.”
    ilene recently posted..My Big Bad Belly TattooMy Profile

  2. says

    What a fantastic group! I’d never heard of them before, but remember growing up rural. I didn’t have access to much playground equipment. Even our school had only a few things. I take my kids to parks now half the time so I can play on the toys! Thanks for visiting on my SITS day!
    Jester Queen recently posted..SITS DayMy Profile

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