Volunteers Build Playground to Support 700 Children at Madonna Heights Campus in Dix Hills

September 17, 2013
  • Tina Charles, UnitedHealthcare and Dix Hills residents to build 2,500-square-foot playground in eight hours
  • Playground is one of three UnitedHealthcare will build along the East Coast in one day

Today WNBA player and Olympian Tina Charles will join more than 200 volunteers from UnitedHealthcare and the Dix Hills area to build a new playground at SCO Family of Services' (SCO) Madonna Heights Campus.

The new 2,500-square-foot playground in Dix Hills will include a rock wall, monkey bars, a monorail zip line, slides and more. The playground's design is based on drawings created by children from the Madonna Heights Campus who participated in a "design day" event in July.

This is one of three playgrounds UnitedHealthcare is building today as part of its "Do Good. Live Well." program, an employee-volunteer initiative to help prevent obesity. Hundreds of volunteers from UnitedHealthcare will build playgrounds in Waltham, Mass., and Union Beach, N.J.

SCO has provided vital human services throughout New York City and Long Island for more than 100 years. The Madonna Heights campus offers a structured, therapeutic setting through a variety of programs that serve young children, adolescent females and adult women with children.

"This beautiful new playground will provide our children and families with a fun, safe place to play and spend time together in a beautiful park-like setting," said Gail B. Nayowith, executive director, SCO. "We're very grateful to UnitedHealthcare, KaBOOM! and all our volunteers for rolling up their sleeves, taking a day off work and helping us bring the joy of play to our campus."

"We are grateful for the opportunity to help build a playground in an area where there are no other playgrounds nearby, so the children at Madonna Heights can play and participate in healthy activities," said Bill Golden, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of New York.

The volunteers are working with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most. The Dix Hills playground, one of more than 150 such projects led by KaBOOM this year, will be the 13th playground created by KaBOOM! and UnitedHealthcare.

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 SCO Family of Services
SCO Family of Services helps vulnerable New Yorkers build a strong foundation for the future. We get young children off to a good start, launch youth into adulthood, stabilize and strengthen families and unlock potential for children and adults with special needs. We enable New Yorkers to meet life's challenges with support, care and acceptance. SCO has played a vital role delivering human services in communities throughout New York City and Long Island for more than 100 years.

SCO's Madonna Heights program is dedicated to helping vulnerable adolescent girls, women and families. The Madonna Heights Group Residence serves adolescent girls struggling at home, in school and/or the community. Residents attend the Madonna Heights School, also located on campus and available to day students from local school districts. The campus is also home to the Morningstar program for women and women with children recovering from addiction. An on-site Family Service Clinic is available to Nassau or Suffolk County residents.

To learn more about SCO Family of Services and Madonna Heights, visit us online at www.sco.org.

About KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most. 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. 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 because children need to play actively every day at home, in school and in their communities. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 90,000 places to play, built more than 2,300 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 an office in San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.

About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare 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 780,000 physicians and other health care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

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