“Words cannot describe how grateful I am by all the work you all at KaBOOM! did for Long Beach. The new playground is fantastic and even better than before! I cannot wait for my little girl to be able to play there. In just a few more months, she'll at least be on the swing set! Again, thank you for everything. This project was definitely the best volunteering experience I have ever had." - Anthony Dalto, Long Beach, N.Y.
Hurricane Sandy struck Long Beach, N.Y., one year ago today, leaving an incredible path of destruction in its wake. Like many residents in the northeast, Long Beach residents lost their homes, their schools and their neighborhoods because of the catastrophic storm. Like many communities, Long Beach also lost one of the few places for children to play: Magnolia Playground.
As many in the northeast would also determine, Long Beach residents realized that in the aftermath of such a monumental natural disaster that play becomes even more critical because it creates a sense of normalcy and provides an emotional outlet for children during a time of extreme stress. So, in addition to many homes and schools needing to be rebuilt, children needed a place to play.
On May, 18, 2013, 242 volunteers from the Long Beach community joined with local organization Surf For All, the City of Long Beach, JetBlue and KaBOOM! to rebuild Magnolia Playground. In less than eight hours, volunteers built a child-designed playground that will serve thousands of children for years to come.
The Long Beach project marked the first of 11 playground builds to be built in 2013 directly by KaBOOM! and our partners, including BNP Paribas, Disney, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Good Neighbor Pharmacy, JetBlue and UnitedHealthcare. Even Queen Latifah pitched in to bring play to Sandy survivors.
The last of these 11 playground projects will be completed on Saturday, when more than 200 volunteers will build a brand new playground at The Community YMCA Family Health and Wellness Center, which serves hundreds of children and families affected by Hurricane Sandy in Red Bank, N.J.
These 11 playgrounds covering more than 27,000 square feet will eventually serve more than 30,000 children and will have been built by more than 2,500 volunteers donating more than 20,000 hours of service.
Additionally, KaBOOM! partnered with Creative Circle, JetBlue and UnitedHealthcare to donate Imagination Playground to four child-serving organizations in the northeast following the storm.
As tremendous as these projects are, our work is not done. There are still thousands of children in Sandy-affected areas and millions of children across North America who do not have a place to play. You can help KaBOOM! give children the childhoods they deserve by taking action to ensure that all children have access to a playground.
The days, weeks and months of recovery following a hurricane can take a severe toll on a community, particularly on the children who live there.
As part of JetBlue’s rebuilding efforts, they are partnering with KaBOOM! to bring the joy of play back to communities that have suffered from the devastating effects of Superstorm Sandy.
KaBOOM! is actively outreaching to connect with child-serving organizations that have been impacted by the storm to become KaBOOM! Community Partners for JetBlue’s three (3) playground build projects in 2013.
Eligible organizations include the following:
Note: Evaluation and screening of applications will not be exclusive to the JetBlue Rebuild initiative but will be against general viability criteria for a KaBOOM! lead Community Partner Playground project and ALL funding opportunities in the New York/ New Jersey area.
» I am a leader in a Sandy-impacted community. I am interested in having my organization become a KaBOOM! Community Partner. Learn more.
» I know a Sandy-impacted community that needs a playground. I want to help them become a KaBOOM! Community Partner. Let us know!
» I don’t have a specific recommendation but I’m interesting in volunteering my time. Please keep me informed about the JetBlue playground builds.
Sign up below to be informed of volunteer opportunities in your area.
To learn more about JetBlue’s rebuilding efforts please visit www.jetblue.com/rebuild.
In seven years of partnership, JetBlue and KaBOOM! have brought together over 3,600 volunteers to move 15 tractor trailers full of mulch and build 15 playgrounds which will serve more than 10,128 children.
In February, JetBlue customers were asked to vote for the location of the 15th JetBlue-KaBOOM! playground by voting on Facebook. In August, we worked together to build a playground in the winning city of Oakland with JetBlue TrueBlue members as volunteers. Coming up on October 9, JetBlue will hold its 4th Annual Swing for Good Golf Classic with KaBOOM! as one of the benefiting nonprofit partners.
We are looking forward to completing three more playground builds with our National Partner, JetBlue, before the end of 2013!
KaBOOM! National Partner JetBlue is looking for your help to decide where they should build one of their next KaBOOM! playgrounds! The Vote Where We Play Sweepstakes offers Facebook fans the ability to help pick the next city for a playground as well as a chance to win a weekend getaway to any JetBlue travel destination.
JetBlue is celebrating our partnership with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to saving play, that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Together, JetBlue and KaBOOM! have moved 16 tractor trailers full of mulch and brought together 2,830 volunteers to build 11 playgrounds, which serve 5,680 children every year.
In 2012 we look forward to building five more KaBOOM! playgrounds in JetBlue cities! We are jetting off to build playgrounds Long Beach, CA in February, San Juan, PR in March, Boston, MA in June and New York, NY in September; and we want YOU to vote on the lucky city that will receive our 15th playground!
UPDATE: The voting period has ended, and we would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to residents of the San Francisco Bay Area! You'll be getting a new playground in August 2012!