In recognition of the Month of the Military Child, longtime partners KaBOOM! and The CarMax Foundation have come together to build a community playground, as well as provide organizations that serve military families 10 grants for outdoor playsets.
The partners are set to host 11 community events for the children of veterans and active duty service members during what is called the "Week of Play."
With the help of a few hundred volunteers, the partners will present a new playset at Chloe Clark Elementary School on Wednesday. Located in DuPont, Wash., the school serves a community with a large military family population.
Experts designed the layout of the school’s new playset based on local childrens' drawings of their dream playgrounds at a special event held last month.
This week, KaBOOM! and The CarMax Foundation will also provide 10 child-serving non-profits nationwide grants for creative play sets from Imagination Playground and Rigamajig.
"We are proud to be the first corporate partner with KaBOOM! to make a significant commitment to bringing playspaces to military communities across the country," The CarMax Foundation president Matt Aman said in a news release. "Our associates are excited about seeing the impact these new spaces will have on the communities in which we live and work, and they understand the importance of promoting and protecting opportunities for kids to play.
"We have a deeply rooted commitment to supporting our military community, so this effort aligns perfectly with our goals," Aman continued.
Additionally, through a multiyear national partnership with KaBOOM!, the companies said, The CarMax Foundation will provide a $5 million investment to help build 33 playgrounds and provide 32 creative play grants nationwide this year.
"Opportunities to play are an essential part of childhood and help kids develop resiliency and grit, as they fall and pick themselves up," said James Siegal, chief executive officer of KaBOOM!. "When kids experience stress or transition in their lives, play also provides a creative outlet to help them cope, and can restore normalcy and stability. We know this is particularly true for kids who move often or have deployed parents. Thanks to The CarMax Foundation's continued leadership and commitment to supporting our military community, we're able to create more opportunities for kids to experience the healing power of play."
The Month of the Military Child was established by former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger as a U.S. Defense Department commemoration in 1986.