The CarMax Foundation Launches National $4.1 Million KaBOOM! Partnership To Bring Play To Those Most In Need Link copied!

June 7, 2013

Richmond, VA

CarMax, Inc. (NYSE: KMX), the nation’s largest retailer of used cars, announced today the launch of a $4.1 million national partnership between The CarMax Foundation and KaBOOM!. Through this partnership, The Foundation and KaBOOM! will build 30 playgrounds across the United States by the end of 2015, benefitting 100,000 children. KaBOOM! is the national nonprofit organization dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most. To celebrate the official coast-to-coast launch of the partnership, more than 400 volunteers simultaneously built two new playgrounds today in Richmond, Va. and Los Angeles, Calif.

Only one in five children live within walking distance of a park or playground,* and children ages eight to 12 spend an average of 7.5 hours a day in front of a screen.** This play deficit is having profound consequences for kids physically, socially and cognitively. The new partnership supports the KaBOOM! vision of a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.

The partnership is a three-year commitment with three distinct impact areas. First, the 30 nationwide community-built playgrounds will be designed by children and built by volunteers from local partners and thousands of CarMax associates. Second, The Foundation is donating 11 Imagination Playgrounds to select partner organizations. This breakthrough playspace concept includes innovative, reconfigurable loose-parts for children to design their own playground. The third component of the partnership includes a collaboration to identify and eradicate “Play Deserts” – areas that have lots of kids but not enough places to play – through crowd-sourced data from the KaBOOM! Map of Play.

This year, the Foundation is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with a new focus on children’s healthy living. This focus has been directed by associates, who have expressed a desire to help today’s youth address the important issues of obesity and lack of physical activity. In addition, the partnership is launching during CarMax Cares Month, the annual height of associate volunteerism.

“CarMax has a strong culture of integrity, teamwork and taking care of each other. It’s our culture of caring for others that has drawn our associates to the issue of children’s healthy living,” said Lynn Mussatt, president of The CarMax Foundation and CarMax’s vice president of business operations. “Our associates across the country will impact countless families by helping get kids moving and playing.”

Today’s coast-to-coast playground builds are just the start. In the next year, The Foundation and KaBOOM! nationwide tour will include playground builds in the following cities: Richmond, Va.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Baltimore, Md.; Chicago, Ill.; Kansas City, Kan.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Dallas, Texas; and Atlanta, Ga. The Foundation and KaBOOM! are actively seeking nonprofit partners for these builds. For more information on being a partner, please visit the KaBOOM! website.

“Associates who volunteered at past KaBOOM! and Foundation builds in Los Angeles and Nashville left the experience energized and inspired,” said Damon Devins, CarMax location general manager in Buena Park, Calif., and KaBOOM! volunteer. “The true reward for all of us involved will be seeing children playing on these playgrounds for years to come.”

Research shows that children who participate in regular physical activity and play are healthier, feel more connected to their community, foster positive attitudes toward diversity, build confidence and perform better in the classroom.

“Play is disappearing across the country, but partnerships like this one with The CarMax Foundation will help give kids the childhood they deserve,” said Darell Hammond, Founder and CEO of KaBOOM!. “Kids need to play actively every day – at home, in schools and in communities. We are grateful to The CarMax Foundation and their commitment to play for children of all ages.”