February 08, 2010

Inspiration Monday: Play strengthens a community

In February of 2001, Calvary Ministries of the West End Community in Durham, NC witnessed something truly amazing. Not only did a playground get built, the community was strengthened as a result. The project was co- led by Mayme Webb-Bledsoe, Senior Neighborhood Coordinator from Duke University. She credited the build with being the catalyst that brought six neighborhood groups together and allowed them an opportunity to work together and put aside their differences.

Calvary Ministries had been working on a Quality of Life project and needed a visible “win” to get the program off the ground. The build helped to provide a tangible transformation and a very clear win for everyone. Through the build process, the community was continually engaged and part of the planning. This engagement led to taking ownership, which led to a strong motivation in maintaining the playground. Nine years later, the playground is in great shape and the safety surfacing is at the right level. This is a true testament to the importance of community involvement! 

Calvary Ministries went on to do more building. They built six houses in one week with Habitat for Humanity and kept on going, renovating 400 homes. The community continues to be strengthened and work together. It all started with a playground!

For more information, visit the Quality of Life Project website.

Inspiration Monday is a regular KaBOOM! blog feature.

kaboom! news, durham, north carolina, inspiration, inspiration monday