Published October 22, 2012
More than 200 volunteers from UnitedHealthcare, Arizonans for Children, and others in the Phoenix community joined forces to build a new playground at the Arizonans for Children’s Phoenix Visitation Center.
The volunteers worked with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to saving play by providing a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. The Phoenix playground, one of more than 150 such projects led by KaBOOM! this year, is the ninth playground created by KaBOOM! and UnitedHealthcare as part of the latter’s “Do Good. Live Well.” program, an employee-volunteer initiative to prevent hunger, diabetes and obesity.
The new 2,550-square-foot playground includes wobble wheel monkey bars, an inclined hanger, a 6’ arch bridge, a wave climber and a Glide Slide. The playground’s design is based on drawings by Arizona children who participated in a “design day” event in August.
Arizonans for Children’s Phoenix Visitation Center provides a comfortable and neutral environment specially designated for supervised visitations so that children who are wards of the state can establish and maintain the best possible relationship with non-custodial parents and family. Currently, the facility does not have a playground for children to enjoy.
“We expect that this glorious KaBOOM!/UnitedHeathcare playground will have a transformational impact on the quality of the visits between the biological families and the abused, abandoned and neglected children who are trying to survive the foster care system,” said Kaye McCarthy, President of Arizonans for Children, Inc. “The playground will be pivotal to a healthy family bonding experience and successful family reunification.”
“UnitedHealthcare is grateful for the opportunity to partner with Arizonans for Children and Phoenix residents to help ensure that children have an opportunity to play and exercise outdoors,” said Jeri Jones, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Arizona. “We want to do all we can to help the children of Phoenix live healthier lives.”
UnitedHealthcare has built playgrounds for children in Atlanta; Austin and Dallas, Texas; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; Providence, R.I., and Waltham and Worcester, Mass.
For more information about the benefits of volunteering and to find local opportunities to get involved, visit DoGoodLiveWell.org. Follow @DoGoodLiveWell on Twitter or "like" Do Good. Live Well. on Facebook.
About Arizonans for Children
Arizonans for Children, Inc., a 501(c) 3 non-profit operating in Arizona since 2002, exists to facilitate opportunities and provide effective solutions to improve and stabilize the fragile lives of abused, neglected and abandoned children in child protective custody in Arizona. We provide the resources to ensure foster children have educational, tutorial and skill-development opportunities as well as special care items and other specialized services critical to their individual needs, overall development and general well-being. We provide services to these youths at no cost including tutor/mentoring, special education, legal education, financial education, creative classes such as sewing, dancing and cooking and family visitation centers.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. To fight this play deficit, social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! in 1996 in Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 90,000 places to play, built more than 2,100 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with online tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level. Hammond chronicles the founding of the organization and the importance of the cause of play in his The New York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: A Movement to Save Play, now out in paperback. The book details how businesses and communities can work together to save play for children across the country. All author proceeds support KaBOOM!. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.
UnitedHealthcare (www.uhc.com) is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.