6 Hours + 200 Amway Volunteers = 1 Custom Playground for 1,000 Children
On June 19, 8:30am, over 200 Amway and community volunteers descended upon the Steepletown neighborhood on Grand Rapids’ northwest side. Their goal? To bring something that had been missing from the area for quite some time – a playground.
The playground is the 19th built by Amway and KaBOOM! KaBOOM! is a national non-profit dedicated to ensuring that all kids get that access to play that they need to thrive.
"A playground is more than a playground. It's a brain-expander, friend-maker, and muscle-builder. Play is central to a child's ability to grow into a productive adult,” said Amway community relations manager David Madiol. “It can fundamentally transform children from sedentary, bored and solitary to becoming physically, mentally and socially active.”
In the span of six short hours, the volunteers built, spread, painted, and created the following:
- Multi-Functional Playground Structure
- Climbing Structure
- 4 Child-Sized Picnic Tables
- 4 Raised Planters
- 1 Double Shade Structure
- An Outdoor Classroom and a Stage
- 1 Chalkboard
- 1 Directional Post
- 1 Sandbox
- 2 Bike Racks
- 2 Planter Benches
- Paver Pathway
- Mixed 5 Pallets of Concrete
- Spread 175 Cubic Yards of Mulch
“Our community has a mission of ‘neighbor helping neighbor live with dignity and hope’,” said Ed Postma, chairman of the board for Steepletown Neighborhood Services. “Many of the children who will use the new playground helped design it with the experts from KaBOOM!. Each is so excited to show it off, and bring their families.”
After the curing of concrete and getting the last of the mulch in place, the playground officially opened Monday, June 19. Now, a once vacant lot, plays host to endless childhood wonder and activity.