FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUSTIN, TX (May 15, 2018) —
Today, KaBOOM!, the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids the childhood they deserve through great, safe places to play, and the Rebuild Texas Fund announced their partnership to invest $2.1 million to create 35 playspaces in communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Southeast Texas. The partnership will create 15 community-designed playground projects, and award 20 creative play products— Imagination Playground™ and Rigamajig— to organizations across 41 counties in Southeast Texas, providing new opportunities to play for more than 87,500 kids over the next generation.
Ensuring kids have safe places to play is critical to helping families and communities heal during times of recovery, as they continue to deal with the stress of lost homes, lost loved ones, and lost routine. Nearly a year later, many families— especially those most in need— in the region are still struggling to find convenient, safe spaces to play. By creating and providing playspaces, this work will help kids and communities continue to regain a sense of normalcy, and make play an easier choice for families.
This partnership is part of the Rebuild Texas Fund’s ongoing effort to help stabilize areas across Southeast Texas. These efforts started when Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25th of last year, impacting more than eight million residents in 41 Texas counties in its aftermath. The Rebuild Texas Fund was launched immediately following Hurricane Harvey by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and the OneStar Foundation with the goal of helping Texas communities devastated by Hurricane Harvey rebuild and thrive.
"As part of our focus in long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts across Texas, we are thrilled to work with KaBOOM! to create more opportunities for kids and families to get the support they deserve," said Neeraj Aggarwal, Program Director of the Rebuild Texas Fund. "There’s more work to be done, and through this partnership we will continue to help more families and communities in this region dedicate play resources toward our most valuable asset – our kids."
This effort is also a part the ongoing commitment KaBOOM! has made to investing in kids and families impacted by natural disaster. The Rebuild Texas Fund investment immediately doubles this impact across Southeast Texas in Hurricane Harvey affected communities, bringing the organization’s total commitment to $4.2 million and serving more than 155,000 kids over the next generation.
"We are grateful for another opportunity to serve the communities of Southeast Texas by working with local partners to provide spaces for kids to play during this time of recovery," said Roxane Rucker, Vice President, Community Impact at KaBOOM!. "We know that playspaces create a buffer for kids to the stress and adversity around them, and allows them to focus on getting back to what they do best – being kids."
Through this partnership, KaBOOM! will work alongside the Rebuild Texas Fund to serve communities – big and small – affected by Hurricane Harvey by ensuring kids can get back to the business of childhood and bringing communities together in common purpose.
Applications for playground projects and creative play product grants are being accepted from 41 counties in Southeast Texas and may be submitted by government entities, non-profits or individuals / groups who have partnered with them. Learn how to bring more play opportunities to these communities.
About Rebuild Texas Fund
The Rebuild Texas Fund is a joint initiative of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and the OneStar Foundation. The Rebuild Texas Fund supports organizations making an impact in the following six focus areas: community and economic development; health; housing; education and childcare; transportation and workforce; and capital for rebuilding small businesses. Funding through the Rebuild Texas Fund will be provided to eligible nonprofit, government, corporate, and philanthropic organizations working on the ground in Texas communities, big and small, that have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. Get more information about the Rebuild Texas Fund.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – especially those living in poverty – the childhood they deserve through great, safe places to play. KaBOOM! inspires communities to make play the easy choice and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of PLAYces. KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build or improve more than 17,000 playspaces, engage over 1.5 million volunteers and serve nearly 10 million kids. To learn why play matters for all kids, visit kaboom.org and join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom, facebook.com/kaboom, and instagram.com/kaboom. #playmatters #PLAYceforKids