JetBlue Partners with KaBOOM! and the City of Bellflower to Reintroduce Play to More Than 1,200 Children and Families in Southern California

Nearly 200 customers and crewmembers joined the city of Bellflower to build a new play space at Simms Park
Aug 13, 2015 9:10 AM ET
Press Release

August 13, 2015 /3BL Media/ - JetBlue recently helped to breathe new life into a local play space in Bellflower, CA. Now that the paint has dried and the mulch has been placed, the airline welcomes Southern California residents to enjoy this updated playground located at Simms Park. On July 16, more than 200 of the airline’s customers and crewmembers joined Bellflower residents to restore the preexisting, decaying playground. The renovated Simms Park is now a secure, safe location for recreation and activity and provides an ADA compliant play space for more than 1,215 local children and families in the Bellflower area.

Simms Park marks JetBlue’s 22nd playground built in partnership with KaBOOM! and the fourth in California. Since 2005, JetBlue and long-standing partner - KaBOOM! - have worked together to fight the deficit of play for children in underserved neighborhoods and areas impacted by disasters by creating safe play spaces throughout the airline’s network. This partnership has successfully engaged more than 5,000 volunteers to move over 30 tractor trailers containing 48,000 cubic yards of mulch, a weight equivalent to nine elephants, for 22 playground builds. To date, JetBlue and KaBOOM!, have restored play for more 50,000 children. 

“We’ve partnered with KaBOOM! for 10 years now and the results include 22 playgrounds and safe play spaces for more than 46,259 children. Our crewmembers volunteer as teams to inspire humanity in their communities, including constructing play spaces in underserved areas and places impacted by devastation” said Kayla Carpenter, analyst, corporate social responsibility, JetBlue. “Providing the children and families of Bellflower with an engaging and interactive play space is just one example of the many ways our crewmembers in Southern California give back to communities in the LA Basin.”

The rebuilt playground, which was designed by local children, replaces a playground that was deteriorating, underutilized and unsafe. It now serves as a vehicle for the community, driving family togetherness, creativity, exploration, exercise, growth and much more; enabling children to discover the world through play.

"This project, especially Build Day, was an amazing and rewarding time for the Bellflower community. Thanks to our proud partnership with JetBlue and KaBOOM!, and the tireless efforts of all of the volunteers and contributors from the planning stages to Build Day, children in Bellflower will have another fun play space to enjoy for many years to come.  Partnering with JetBlue and KaBOOM! on this incredible project ensures that children in our community have the opportunity to experience the lifelong benefits of play. Our residents have embraced this new playground as their own since it opened; it has been bustling with activity every day and that is very exciting to see," said P.J. Mellana, director of parks and recreation at the City of Bellflower.

Mayor Scott A. Larsen, City of Bellflower City Council Members Ray Dunton and Sonny Santa Ines and Mayor Pro Tem Dan Koops were presented with a certificate of special recognition for the grand opening of Simms Park on behalf of Bellflower from the Congress of the United States House of Representatives.

“KaBOOM! is proud to partner with JetBlue, a corporation that values the importance of play in kids’ lives,” said Teresa Crippen, senior project manager at KaBOOM!. “Through this partnership, we will increase and improve play opportunities across the country so that more kids can get the childhoods they deserve filled with balanced and active play.”

Today’s kids spend less time playing outside than any previous generation and only one in five children live within walking distance of a park or playground.  This play deficit is having profound consequences for kids physically, socially and cognitively. Children need a place to play every day in order to be active and healthy.

Tamara Young
JetBlue Airways